Arch Neurol 2000 May;57(5):754-5
Simovic D, Weinberg DH.
Division of Neurology, St Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass, USA.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most frequently encountered mononeuropathy in the clinical practice. Although now a well recognized entity, it took almost 100 years from the initial observations until the pathophysiology of the disorder was finally accepted as a median nerve compression at the wrist.
Sir James Paget (1854)1 was the first to describe the clinical features of CTS. In his first case, a man developed pain and impaired sensation in the hand from the trauma of a cord drawn tightly around his wrist. In his second case, a tardy median nerve palsy was a consequence of a distal radius fracture. This patient improved with wrist immobilization and thus was also the first description of treatment with a neutral wrist splint , a method still in use today. Three decades later James Putnam (1880)2 presented a clinical series of 37 patients with “… disturbances of a subjective sensibility of the skin, giving rise to what is popularly known as numbness recurring periodically, coming on especially at night … in some cases simply letting the arm hang out of the bed or shaking it about for some moments would drive the numbness away…J.Putnam 1880 “ 2. This vivid description of CTS is quite remarkable considering it was one of the initial clinical observations and that it occurred at the end of the 19th century.Publication Types:
- Historical Article
PMID: 10815148 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]