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Why can carpal tunnel syndrome occur during pregnancy?

January 1, 2018

Carpal tunnel is a pathology that mainly affects women, and during pregnancy the risk that hands can be affected by it increases. Among the reasons why pregnant women can develop carpal tunnel syndrome there are the hormonal variations that occur during pregnancy – explains Dr. Alberto Lazzerini, Head of the Humanitas Hand Surgery Unit. As in during the menopause period, the contraceptive therapy or in some diseases such as diabetes or those affecting the thyroid, the symptoms of carpal tunnel can appear because of the increase of liquids retention that accumulate in the connective tissues that, by swelling, can compress the median nerve. Typical symptoms of median nerve pain are the tingling and soreness of the first three fingers of the hand, sometimes accompanied by pain and stiffness when waking up, and difficulty in performing daily activities such as opening a can. If these symptoms appear during pregnancy, it is advisable to contact a specialist and the gynecologist for pain medications, who can evaluate if nocturnal hand supports may help or perhaps a surgical operation may be necessary. In the most serious cases, in fact, if necessary, we try not to postpone the surgery after giving birth, because afterwards it is more difficult for the woman to keep her hand at rest for a certain period of time”.

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