A Novel and Non-Invasive Technique to Measure Carpal Tunnel Pressure

Technology #2012-141

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common problem with an estimated lifetime risk of 10%, a prevalence of about 3%, and a large economic burden of more than $1 billion annually for direct medical costs. It has been commonly recognized that carpal tunnel pressure (CTP) increases in CTS patients. However, measurement of CTP is invasive and not reliable due to technical difficulties. Although CTP is a sensitive indicator for assessing the stage or severity of CTS, it is not routinely used as a clinical diagnostic measure. The concept of the current invention is to measure the tissues (including tendon, nerve, or ligament) stiffness which will be altered within carpal tunnel due to elevated pressure compared to the outside of carpal tunnel. Tissue stiffness can be measure by wave propagation, which include mechanical or acoustic wave, through tendon, nerve, or ligament. Wave propagation can be measured by ultrasound, magnetic resonance elastography, microphone, or other techniques.