Carpal tunnel

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist that is made of bones on three sides and a ligament (transverse carpal ligament) across the wrist where the palm and forearm meet.

Inside the tunnel are:

  • Tendons, which are strong and flexible (but not stretchable) bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone. The tendons are surrounded by membranes (synovial membranes called tendon sheaths).
  • The median nerve, which controls some movement in the thumb and gives sensation to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger.

Last Updated: October 29, 2008

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedics & David Pichora, MD, FRCSC - Orthopedic Surgery

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