Carpal tunnel syndrome after an electrical injury: A case report and review of literature

Yi Sin Wong, Cheung Ter Ong, Yi Ying Hsieh, Tuey Wen Hung, How Ran Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is prevalent in workers who utilize hand-held vibration tools, engage in tasks involving repetitive wrist movements, and suffer from wrist overuse. Although electrical injuries involving the median nerve are a relatively rare but plausible cause of CTS, the related literature is limited. Here, we report a case of CTS in which the symptoms developed after an electrical injury, and review the related literature. Case summary: The patient was a right-handed male electrician who often used hand tools but had no symptoms of CTS before the injury, with the left hand as the point of entry. Typical symptoms of CTS manifested after the electrical injury, and a nerve conduction velocity test confirmed the presence of severe CTS in the left hand. Therefore, we believe that the symptoms can be largely attributed to the electrical injury. Conclusions: The available literature supports the occurrence of delayed compressive neuropathy caused by scarring from substantial cutaneous burns in patients with electrical injuries. This case shows that electrical injuries may cause CTS in the absence of severe scarring through other mechanisms such as direct injuries to the nerve. Therefore, patients with electrical burns should be routinely examined for peripheral nerve compression symptoms in follow-ups, even when there are minimal cutaneous burns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-323
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Occupational Health
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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