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J R Soc Med. 1989 June; 82(6): 349–350.
PMCID: PMC1292168

The natural history of carpal tunnel syndrome in lactation.


In a retrospective postal study of 27 women who have developed carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in the puerperium, the condition was found to affect predominantly elderly primiparous women (mean age 31.5 years). The condition was associated with breastfeeding in 24 women. The three who did not breastfeed had less severe symptoms which resolved within one month of onset. The symptoms developed a mean of 3.5 weeks following delivery, lasted 6.5 months and started to resolve within 14 days of weaning. Symptomatic treatments with either splintage, diuretics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or steroid injections provided some benefit. Two patients required surgical decompression. All patients were symptom-free by one year.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Walshe FM. "Acroparaesthesia" and so-called "Neuritis" of Women's Hands and Arms. Br Med J. 1945 Nov 3;2(4426):596–598. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Snell NJ, Coysh HL, Snell BJ. Carpal tunnel syndrome presenting in the puerperium. Practitioner. 1980 Feb;224(1340):191–193. [PubMed]
  • Nicholas GG, Noone RB, Graham WP. Carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy. Hand. 1971 Mar;3(1):80–83. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Tobin SM. Carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1967 Feb 15;97(4):493–498. [PubMed]

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