Effects of forearm pronation/supination on carpal tunnel pressure

J Hand Surg Am. 1998 Jan;23(1):38-42. doi: 10.1016/S0363-5023(98)80086-5.


The effects of forearm rotation and metacarpophalangeal (MP) flexion on carpal tunnel pressure were investigated in 17 healthy adults who had no evidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Pressure was continuously recorded with a saline-filled catheter inserted into the carpal tunnel and connected to a pressure transducer while test subjects slowly rotated the forearm from full pronation to full supination. Forearm rotation was repeated with MP flexion of 0 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees. Both forearm rotation and MP flexion, and their interaction term, significantly affected carpal tunnel pressure and accounted for most of the variability in the data. Highest mean pressures (55 mmHg) were recorded in full supination and 90 degrees MP flexion and lowest pressures (12 mmHg) were recorded at 45 degrees pronation and 45 degrees MP flexion. These data may be useful in the design of tasks and hand tools in the management and prevention of CTS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carpal Bones / physiology*
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Forearm / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Median Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Median Nerve / physiology
  • Metacarpophalangeal Joint / physiology*
  • Pressure
  • Pronation / physiology
  • Supination / physiology
  • Wrist / physiology