The effect of tendon excursion velocity on longitudinal median nerve displacement: Differences between carpal tunnel syndrome patients and controls

Anika Filius, Andrew R. Thoreson, Yuexiang Wang, Sandra M. Passe, Chunfeng Zhao, Kai Nan An, Peter C. Amadio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


The subsynovial connective tissue (SSCT) is a viscoelastic structure connecting the median nerve (MN) and the flexor tendons in the carpal tunnel. Increased strain rates increases stiffness in viscoelastic tissues, and thereby its capacity to transfer shear load. Therefore, tendon excursion velocity may impact the MN displacement. In carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) the SSCT is fibrotic and may be ruptured, and this may affect MN motion. In this study, ultrasonography was performed on 14 wrists of healthy controls and 25 wrists of CTS patients during controlled finger motions performed at three different velocities. Longitudinal MN and tendon excursion were assessed using a custom speckle tracking algorithm and compared across the three different velocities. CTS patients exhibited significantly less MN motion than controls (p ≤ 0.002). While in general, MN displacement increased with increasing tendon excursion velocity (p ≤ 0.031). These findings are consistent with current knowledge of SSCT mechanics in CTS, in which in some patients the fibrotic SSCT appears to have ruptured from the tendon surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-487
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015



  • carpal tunnel
  • flexor tendons
  • median nerve
  • ultrasound
  • velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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