Non-neutral wrist positions and external pressure leading to increased carpal tunnel pressure during computer use have been associated with a heightened risk of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). This study investigated whether commonly used ergonomic devices reduce carpal tunnel pressure in patients with CTS. Carpal tunnel pressure was measured in twenty-one patients with CTS before, during and after a computer mouse task using a standard mouse, a vertical mouse, a gel mouse pad and a gliding palm support. Carpal tunnel pressure increased while operating a computer mouse. Although the vertical mouse significantly reduced ulnar deviation and the gel mouse pad and gliding palm support decreased wrist extension, none of the ergonomic devices reduced carpal tunnel pressure. The findings of this study do therefore not endorse a strong recommendation for or against any of the ergonomic devices commonly recommended for patients with CTS. Selection of ergonomic devices remains dependent on personal preference.
Keywords: Carpal tunnel syndrome; Computer use; Ergonomic workplace.
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