Sucher BM. Suction Decompression of the Carpal Tunnel. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2019;119(7):464–468. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2019.083.
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Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common nerve compression syndrome that includes symptoms of numbness and tingling in the median nerve distribution. Medical cupping therapy has been used for managing a variety of medical conditions, but, to the author's knowledge, the cupping device has not been directly applied over the carpal tunnel as a form of treatment. This case report involves a 27-year-old woman who presented with symptoms of CTS in the right hand and palpatory restriction over the right carpal canal. Electrodiagnostic testing confirmed mild CTS, and neuromuscular ultrasonography revealed a mildly enlarged median nerve at the wrist, which was also consistent with CTS. The patient was taught to use a cupping device that would allow her to apply suction over the ventral wrist daily. The patient noted improvement over several weeks and was asymptomatic at her 3-month follow-up visit. Repeated testing revealed that initial abnormalities in the wrist had resolved. Suction decompression of the carpal tunnel may be a viable alternative treatment for patients with mild CTS.
a All neurodiagnostic testing was performed using a Natus Neuromax 1002 machine. All ultrasound measurements were obtained using Terason USmart 3200 machine.
b A normal median distal motor latency (DML) is either <4.4 or, if measuring the difference from the ipsilateral ulnar DML as in this case, <1.0.
Abbreviations: CSA, cross-sectional area; DSL, distal sensory latency.
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