Guyon’s Canal Syndrome

Guyon’s canal syndrome, also called ulnar tunnel syndrome or nerve entrapment, is a condition where a major nerve known as the ulnar nerve becomes compressed at a place in the wrist called the Guyon’s canal. This condition is common among people who engage in work or activities that stress the wrist or those who have experienced wrist trauma. 


Non-Surgical Treatments



Limiting or avoiding activities that cause wrist pain


Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin to reduce pain and swelling

Steroid injections

Injecting medication like cortisone directly into the tendon to help reduce inflammation

Physical therapy

Engaging in targeted exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the hands and wrists.

Wrist Bracing

Wearing a splint or brace to keep wrists in a neutral position and reduce pressure on the nerve


Surgical Treatments


Nerve Decompression Surgery

Releasing damaged or inflamed nerves to alleviate compression and reduce pain

Tendon Transfer

Re-routing tendons from another part of the body to restore function to the ring and pinky fingers

Why Patients Trust the Center for Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery

Our advanced out-patient surgery centers are led by renowned orthopedic and plastic surgeons who specialize exclusively in hand, wrist, and arm procedures. Patients gain access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments in a more private environment that ensures the highest standards of patient safety, quality, and continuity of care.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you suspect you have Guyon's canal syndrome or experience persistent symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hand and fingers, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly. Early diagnosis and intervention can help prevent the condition from progressing and may offer better chances for non-surgical treatments to be effective. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes Guyon's canal syndrome?
While a significant percentage of Guyon’s canal syndrome cases have no apparent cause, this condition is often due to:
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Bone spurs
  • Tumors
  • Any trauma that affects the wrist, like a fracture
  • Ganglion cysts (noncancerous fluid sacs that form at the wrist joint)
  • Complications from surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome
How is Guyon's canal syndrome diagnosed?
Doctors can usually diagnose Guyon’s canal syndrome by conducting physical examinations that test your grip strength, nerve response, and how well you can spread your fingers. They may also order additional tests, including X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, or an electromyography (EMG) to better understand the severity of your condition, rule out other issues, and determine the best treatment options. 
Are there any risk factors for developing Guyon's canal syndrome?
You may be at an increased risk of developing Guyon’s canal syndrome if you regularly engage in activities that put pressure on your wrists, like golf, tennis, cycling, or weightlifting, or if you work in construction or any job that requires frequent keyboard use. Research also links cigarette smoking with ulnar nerve damage.
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