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Injuries and Conditions > Guyon's Canal Syndrome          
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Guyon's Canal Syndrome
(aka Guyon's Tunnel Syndrome)

Image of
                  Cross-Section of WristWhat is Guyon's Canal Syndrome? 

Guyon's Canal Syndrome is a condition which usually arises due to repeated pressure on the Guyon Canal or overuse of repeated wrist motions which often results in pinching or entrapment of the ulnar nerve in the wrist (the yellow dot on the graphic at right).

What are the Symptoms of Guyon's Canal Syndrome?

Common symptoms include pins and needles in the 4th and 5th fingers, which can over time become a burning sensation of pain in the 'non-thumb' portion of the wrist and hand.  In severe cases muscle weakness and reduced dexterity / impaired mobility of the muscles on that side of the hand can occur.

What Causes Guyon's Canal Syndrome to Develop?

Typically Guyon's Canal Syndrome can be caused by activities which result in repetitive, steady pressure on the outer edge of the hand (which pinches the ulnar nerve).  Some workplace activities which involve continuous and repetitive wrist motions and pressure include using conventional mice on a hard desk surface.  This arises because the outer edge of the palm and wrist often 'drags' on the mousing surface with most conventional mice (which tend to be small and require Static Grip Force to maintain control of while mousing).  Leisure activities which can cause this condition include cycling (where the pressure from rigid handlebars can have a similar effect).

What Activities and Movements Should be Avoided if you have Guyon's Canal Syndrome?

Try to avoid any direct pressure and indirect pressure on the underside of the palm especially on the 'outer' side of the hand/palm.  Twisting laterally at the wrist toward the 'pinky' side of the hand should also be avoided (i.e. Ulnar Deviation).

What Types of Products can be Used to Help Prevent or Reduce the Symptoms and Incidence of Guyon's Canal Syndrome?

Correctly sized Orthopedic Mice which properly support the structure of the hand in a neutral posture will help to prevent compression of the Guyon Canal and can therefore be of significant benefit.  Separated Keyboards, Adjustable Keyboards and Fixed Split Keyboards can help to prevent Ulnar Deviation (lateral twisting at the wrist) when keyboarding.


Last edited December 16th, 2013

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