Carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy: a review

Pol Orthop Traumatol. 2013 Oct 7;78:223-7.


The incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnant women reported in the literature varies from 2 to 70%. Hormonal fluctuations, fluid accumulation with tendency to oedemas, nerve hypersensitivity and glucose level fluctuations are factors that predispose pregnant women to the development of symptoms. The syndrome is rarely a matter of concern, as the symptoms are mild and no treatment is needed in majority of patients. The diagnosis is basically clinical and electrodiagnostic or sonographic testing provides no meaningful diagnostic aid. If necessary, the treatment starts with wrist splinting in the night, followed by steroid injection in the carpal tunnel. Most women experience symptomatic improvement following delivery or breastfeeding; however, some women may continue to experience symptoms for up to 3 years.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / therapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Remission, Spontaneous