Carpal tunnel

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Cross section through the right wrist with the carpal tunnel (gray). Underside of the hand (palmar) above. Finger towards the viewer with thumb on the left (not shown). In the carpal tunnel, the median arm nerve (yellow).

The carpal tunnel ( Canalis carpi ) is a nerve-muscle passage on the palm-side (palmar) side of the forearm at the level of the wrist ( articulatio radiocarpalis ). It represents a tunnel formed by bone and connective tissue in an anatomical groove between the carpal bones . Its posterior wall is formed by the carpal bones and the ligamentum carpi radiatum , in front it is closed by the anterior portion of the retinaculum flexorum . The nine tendons of the finger flexors and the median nerve pass through the carpal tunnel . On the thumb side of the carpal tunnel, the tendon of the radial hand flexor runs in its own tendon sheath , which is separated from the carpal tunnel by connective tissue. Some authors include the flexor carpi radialis muscle as part of the carpal tunnel.

A narrowing of the carpal tunnel with pressure on the median arm nerves is known as carpal tunnel syndrome .


  • Michel Merle: Surgery of the hand: rheumatism, osteoarthritis, nerve congestion . Georg Thieme, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-13-148151-1 , p. 391 .