Case Report

Acute Progressive Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Syndrome After Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Authors: Ihab I. El Hajj, MD, Mohamad I. Harb, MD, Raja A. Sawaya, MD

Abstract

This report describes the case of a 32-year-old male presenting with acute progressive bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome after a benign upper respiratory tract infection. Serial nerve conduction studies confirmed progressive entrapment of the median nerves in the carpal tunnel to the point of axonal damage. Surgical decompression relieved the entrapment, and nerve conduction studies improved.


Key Points


* Bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome is a rare condition in young patients.


* Postinfectious carpal tunnel syndrome has been reported in a few cases.


* EMG is the gold standard in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome.


* Treatment of acute carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity and progression of the entrapment.

This content is limited to qualifying members.

Existing members, please login first.

If you have an existing account please login now to access this article or view your purchase options.

Purchase only this article ($15)

Create a free account, then purchase this article to download or access it online for 24 hours.

Purchase an SMJ online subscription ($75)

Create a free account, then purchase a subscription to get complete access to all articles for a full year.

Purchase a membership plan (fees vary)

Premium members can access all articles plus recieve many more benefits. View all membership plans and benefit packages.

References

1. Szabo RM. Acute carpal tunnel syndrome. Hand Clin 1998;14:419–429.
 
2. Mack GR, McPherson SA, Lutz RB. Acute median neuropathy after wrist trauma: the role of emergent carpal tunnel release. Clin Orthop 1994;300:141–146.
 
3. Dumontier C, Sautet A, Man M, et al. Entrapment and compartment syndromes of the upper limb in haemophilia. J Hand Surg 1994;19:427–429.
 
4. Black PRM, Flowers MJ, Saleh M. Acute carpal tunnel syndrome as a complication of oral anticoagulation therapy. J Hand Surg 1997;22:50–51.
 
5. Chiu KY, Ng WF, Wong WB, et al. Acute carpal tunnel syndrome caused by pseudogout. J Hand Surg 1992;17:299–302.
 
6. Mascola JR, Rickman LS. Infectious causes of carpal tunnel syndrome: case report and review. Rev Inf Dis 1999;13:1911–1917.
 
7. Bailey D, Carter JFB. Median nerve palsy associated with acute infection of the hand. Lancet1955;2668:530–532.
 
8. Samii K, Cassinotti P, de Freudenreich J, et al. Acute carpal tunnel syndrome associated with human parvovirus B19 infection. Clin Inf Dis 1996;22:162–164.
 
9. Balasubramanian V, Ramamurthi B. An unusual cause of guinea worm infestation: report of a case. J Neurosurg 1965;23:537–538.
 
10. Gallagher B, Khalifa M, Van Heerden P, et al. Acute carpal tunnel syndrome due to filarial infection.Pathol Res Pract 2002;198:65–67.
 
11. Scott JA, Davidson RN, Moody AH, et al. Diagnosing multiple parasitic infections: trypanosomiasis, loiasis, and schistosomiasis in a single case. Scand J Infect Dis 1991;23:777–780.