Dr Lowe Q & As Have you seen a correlation between hypothyroidism and carpal tunnel syndrome?
Dr. Lowe: In clinical practice, I’ve seen many hypothyroid patients who had carpal tunnel syndrome. The
association between hypothyroidism and carpal tunnel syndrome is well established. Different researchers have reported different percentages of hypothyroid patients withcarpal tunnel syndrome. In one study, the percentage was 30%, and in another, 56%. In a study of fibromyalgia patients, 55% had carpal tunnel syndrome. In the general population of women, the reported incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome is about 10%. So, compared to women in the general population, hypothyroid and fibromyalgic patients have a high incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms in hypothyroidism results from swelling of the ligament around the wrest (the flexor retinaculum). For more information on swelling in hypothyroidism, see the term “myxedema” in my Q&A page on Swelling.