Background: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is considered as the most commonly reported peripheral nerve entrapment syndrome resulting from compression of the median nerve at the wrist level. Many studies have investigated the association between anthropometric characteristics and the degree of severity of the disease. Most literature supports a causal association between overweight and CTS; moreover, there is strong evidence that anatomical characteristics of the hand-wrist system may change the risk, and perhaps the severity of CTS. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between hand anthropometric measurements in patients with CTS and severity of the disease.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted among patients with CTS (n = 600). For this purpose, a brief questionnaire and physical examination were done; hand dominance also was recorded. Body and hand anthropometric measurements were performed and recorded followed by electrodiagnostic testing at the same visit.
Results: Patients had significantly prolonged distal latency, prolonged peak latency, lower compound muscle action potential and sensory nerve action potential amplitudes, and slower sensory nerve conduction velocity. Patients had significantly higher wrist depth, higher wrist ratio (WR), shorter palm length, shorter hand length, and lower hand ratio. Correlations of WR and wrist depth were also found.
Conclusion: Anthropometric characteristics of the wrist and hand are significantly correlated with CTS. These measurements could be used in certain occupations to screen for those individuals who have increased liability to develop CTS.
Key words: Carpal tunnel syndrome, hand anthropometric measurements, severity of CTS