Department of Orthopaedics, National and Kapodistrian
University of Athens, ATTIKON University Hospital,
Anatomical vascular variations are rare causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. An aberrant medial artery is the most common vascular variation, while an aberrant radial artery causing carpal tunnel syndrome is even more rare, with an incidence ranging less than 3%. This article reports a patient with compression of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel by an aberrant superficial branch of the radial artery. An 80- year- old man presented with a 5-year history of right hand carpal tunnel syndrome; Tinel sign, Phalen test and neurophysiological studies were positive. Open carpal tunnel release showed an aberrant superficial branch of the radial artery with its accompanying veins running from radially to medially, almost parallel to the median nerve, ending at the superficial palmar arterial arch. The median nerve was decompressed without ligating the aberrant artery. At the last follow-up, 2 years after diagnosis and treatment the patient is asymptomatic.