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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 2816-2821

Association between smartphone use and carpal tunnel syndrome: A case-control study

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 King Saud University, College of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Eman Salem Al Shahrani
Department of Family and Community Medicine , King Saud University Medical City , Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2458_20

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Context: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common entrapment neuropathy of the upper limb. No published Saudi Arabian study has explored the effect of smartphones on the median nerve. Aim: To assess the association between smartphone use and the development of CTS. Settings and Design: This case-control study involved adults aged 18 years and older who visited King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: Patients were clinically diagnosed with CTS, and the diagnosis was confirmed by a nerve conduction study (NCS) and electromyography. The controls were free of CTS based on the disease-specific Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire. Statistical analyses were performed using IBM-SPSS version 25.0. Results: In total, 95 cases and 190 controls were included. Most of the participants were females (84.2%). The mean ages in the controls and cases were 34.6 +/– 10.2 years and 51.8 +/– 10.6 years, respectively. Using smartphones for 2 hours per day or more was significantly associated with the occurrence of CTS. After adjusting for covariates, 4 hours or more per day of smartphone use was associated with CTS. Moreover, those who held the smartphone with both hands had 7.8 times higher odds of developing CTS than those who held it with one hand. Conclusion: CTS has a negative impact on patients' daily activities and work. This study showed that an increased number of hours of smartphone use is associated with the development of CTS. Further prospective studies are needed to examine the long-term effects of smartphone use.

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