Evaluation of Subsynovial Connective Tissue

Technology #2005-180

The subsynovial connective tissue (SSCT) is a thin (~1 mm), loose tissue layer around the tendons and median nerve in the carpal tunnel, which has been implicated in the etiology of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). A test which could detect abnormalities in the SSCT before the nerve becomes involved could allow interventions before surgery becomes necessary. We have combined a diverse set of ultrasound tools to create a device and method which can assess the SSCT clinically. Specifically, we have combined in non obvious ways transducers, commercial and custom software and hardware designed for other purposes to create a system which has sub millimeter resolution, ability to measure velocities of multiple structures simultaneously, and ability to detect slow velocities. This system allows comparative motion analysis of the tendon and SSCT. Alterations in the mutual motion of these structures when fingers are flexed and extended can indicate the presence of disease.