What is Guyon's Canal Syndrome?

9 August 2017

When you suffer from tingling and numbness in your ring and little finger, even the simplest tasks, like gripping objects, are difficult. You might even find yourself dropping items suddenly or not being able to hold them at all. These symptoms could be signs that you're suffering from Guyon's canal syndrome. The condition affects all types of people, from cyclists to office workers and everyone in between, but it's fairly easy to treat using the correct treatment plan.

What is Guyon's Canal Syndrome?

This syndrome is almost identical to carpal tunnel syndrome except it affects a different nerve in your wrist. The condition occurs when the ulnar nerve becomes entrapped as it runs through the tunnel known as 'Guyon's canal' in your wrist.  The ulnar canal was discovered by a surgeon called Jean Casimir Felix Guyon, and what better way to commemorate his discovery than name a body part and condition after him?

Do I Have Guyon's Canal Syndrome?

The most common early symptom experienced by those with Guyon's canal syndrome is what feels like pins and needles in your ring and little finger. This tends to occur early in the morning. As the condition progresses, burning pain is often experienced, and your hand might become uncoordinated as the muscles controlled by the ulnar nerve weaken.

Causes of the Condition

Like carpal tunnel syndrome, Guyon's canal syndrome is often caused by performing repetitive hand and wrist motions, particularly if you bend your hand down and away from your body and perform activities in this position. Cyclists and weightlifters are more at risk of developing the condition as putting constant pressure on your palm (by gripping the handlebars or weights) can increase your risk.

The syndrome can also be caused by the following issues:

  • Arthritis of the wrist bones
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Blood clots in the ulnar artery
  • Fractured hamate bone
  • Wrist instability on the ulnar side
  • Synovitis

Treatment Options for the Syndrome

Non-surgical treatment plans are most doctor's first option, such as finding out why pressure is being placed on the ulnar nerve and what you can do to prevent it. This includes the performance of hand and wrist exercises to strengthen the area. Your doctor might also suggest that you wear a wrist brace, particularly if the syndrome is only in its early stages. This helps prevent you from performing repetitive hand motions while also giving the affected area a much-needed rest.

If non-surgical treatment doesn't seem to work, surgery might be suggested as an alternative. The aim of surgery is to reduce pressure by making a small incision along the ulnar nerve on the palm of your hand. The ligament forming the roof of Guyon's canal is then cut, which reduces stress in the area.

Guyon's Canal Syndrome at Wrist Supports

So where do we fit in? Our team at Wrist Supports have curated a range of wrist braces to help prevent you from performing the repetitive motions which cause the painful condition. Wearing a support also helps alleviate your symptoms for a dual-performing product. We know how challenging it is to go about your daily life with wrist pain or discomfort, so we've done our utmost to find the best supports for Guyon's canal syndrome. Click the button below to view our full range of braces for the condition.


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