Guyon’s Canal Syndrome

Just as in carpal tunnel syndrome, Guyon’s canal syndrome is a condition where there is compression damage to a nerve in the wrist. It affects the ulnar nerve, which is responsible for strength and sensation on the little finger’s side of the fourth finger and the entire fifth finger. The end branch of this nerve runs to the fingers through 2 carpal bones (Guyon’s canal). There it is exposed to external pressure. If this pressure exists for long periods of time, for example, in an extended bicycle tour, then it leads to pain and tingling in the given area.

In serious cases it can lead to weakness in the affected fingers and an inability to spread or bring the fingers together. One can also recognise muscle atrophy (wasting) in the small muscles of the hand and the balls of the little finger.

The diagnosis is confirmed through nerve conduction velocity measurements and electromyography. Velocities in compression damaged nerves are significantly reduced. In order to relieve the symptoms, a decompression operation is carried out.

Post-operatively there are often scarring symptoms for several weeks. For this reason, after the wounds have healed and the sutures have been removed, we recommend a thorough and rigid regime of scar massage with any fatty skin cream in order to aid the healing process.

A point where the ulnar nerve has considerably narrower constraints is at the elbow. If there is narrowing and pressure at this point, then cubital tunnel syndrome can develop.


Guyon’s canal syndrome is one of the nerve compression syndromes.
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