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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1992;25(1): 26-33.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome among Packing Workers in A Rayon Manufacturing Factory.
Won Jin Lee, Eun Il Lee, Chul Whan Cha
Department of Preventive medicine and Institute for Environmental Health, Medical School, Korea University, Korea.
The carpal tunnel syndromes is one of the most common peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes. The typical symptoms are pain, numbness and paresthesia in the median nerve territory of the hand. Recently, it is widely recognized that occupational factor is regarded as the important cause of the carpal tunnel syndrome. Clinical study is performed in the 42 female workers who is repetitively working at packing department in a rayon manufacturing factory from November 1991 till March 1992. The study included a questionnaire, physical examinations, and the neurophysiological test. The summary of the results obtained was as follows: 1. Among 42 packing workers, 9 workers(21.4%) were diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome by electromyography. The affected side was bilateral in 4 workers(9.5%), right in 4 workers(9.5%), and left in one worker(2.4%). 2. Among 42 subjects, 28 workers(66.7%) complained the clinical symptoms related to carpal tunnel syndrome, 11 workers(26.2%) showed positive Phalen sign, and 7 workers(16.7%) showed positive Tinel sign. 3. Researchers regard electromyographic finding as the gold standard for diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. The sensitivity and specificity of the clinical symptoms to diagnose the carpal tunnel syndrome were 0.89, 0.39 respectively. If the carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed by the combination of the positive findings of the symptoms and the physical examinations, either Tinel of Phalen sign, the sensitivity and specificity were 0.67 and 0.76 respectively. Considering above results, though this small number of worker is not adequate for epidemiologic conclusions, carpal tunnel syndrome seems to be an important occupational disorder among packing workers in a rayon manufacturing factory.
Key words: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; Occupation; Diagnostic Value
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