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A prospective study of pregnancy and carpal tunnel syndrome factors

Zhiqin Jiang, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common and distressing complication of pregnancy. This study evaluated the relationship between personal and occupational CTS risk factors, anthropometric measurements, pregnancy trimesters, self-reported CTS symptoms, Tinel's test results, Phalen's test results, and nerve conduction latencies. ^ This study found different prevalence rates of CTS symptoms based on self-reported CTS symptom (63.9%, 37.1%, 59.7%), positive Tinel's test (33.3%, 30.6% 32.3%), positive Phalen's test (22.2%, 9.7%, 14.5%), and abnormal median nerve latencies (22.2%, 3.2%, 22.6%) in trimesters 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Eleven out of 31 subjects (35.5%) had at least one abnormal nerve latency value during their pregnancies. ^ Weight, height, grip strength, pinch strength, hand volume, and four median nerve latencies (motor and sensory at wrist and elbow) were positively correlated with each other. Four regression models were developed to predict nerve latencies. In the regression analysis, hand volume was a statistically significant independent variable for all four nerve latencies. Number of work hours, trimester, high-risk jobs, positive Tinel's test, positive Phalen's test, pregnancy history and high grip strength were statistically significant independent variables only for motor nerve latencies. Aging and CTS history were statistically significant variables only for sensory nerve latencies. ^ Using logistic regression analysis, Phalen's test, Tinel's test and self-reported CTS symptom were the response variables with the other nineteen variables. None of the three response variables had any duplication in effect condition. The odds of reporting CTS symptoms was 2.3 times and 4.1 times higher when Tinel's and Phalen's tests were positive, respectively. ^ Hand volumes, grip strength, and nerve latencies changed over trimesters. From trimester 1 to trimester 2, there were statistically significant decreases in motor nerve latency - elbow and sensory latency - wrist. From trimester 2 to trimester 3, there was a statistically significant increase in motor nerve latency - elbow and a decrease in grip strength. Hand volume had statistically significant increases from trimester 1 through trimester 2 to trimester 3. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Industrial

Recommended Citation

Jiang, Zhiqin, "A prospective study of pregnancy and carpal tunnel syndrome factors" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3278295.