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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Wirst/Palm pain

03/29/2007

Question:

I am a 20-year-old female. I was suddenly woken up in the middle of the night a couple of days ago due to intense pain in my wrist and palm. The pain is on the outside part of the palm and shoots down the outside of the wrist and ulna. Moving my ring finger and pinky finger make the pain worse. There was no type of injury at any point. Also, there is no swelling of any kind, and no discoloration. It is not sensitive to gentle touch, but putting any pressure on the top of the palm (under the ring finger and pinky finger) is quite painful. I believe it could have had something to do with the position my hand was in while I was sleeping, but I am not sure. Do you have any suggestions as to what might be the problem? Thank you!

Answer:

I would agree that it probably was related to the position of your hand. The ulnar nerve which goes to the ring and pinky finger runs through Guyon's canal which is on the outside part of the wrist near the ulna. Compression of this canal may cause pain symptoms. It's very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome except that Guyon's canal is affected rather than the carpal tunnel.

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Response by:

Johnny  Su, MD Johnny Su, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University