Cheiralgia paresthetica is a neuropathy of the hand generally caused by compression or trauma to the superficial branch of the radial nerve. The area affected is typically on the back or side of the hand at the base of the thumb, near the anatomical snuffbox, but may extend up the back of the thumb and index finger and across the back of the hand. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, burning or pain. Since the nerve branch is sensory there is no motor impairment. It may be distinguished from de Quervain’s syndrome because it is not dependent on motion of the hand or fingers.
The most common cause is constriction of the wrist, from a bracelet or watchband (hence reference to "wristwatch neuropathy"). Other injuries or surgery in the wrist area can also lead to symptoms, including surgery for other syndromes such as de Quervain's Stenosing Tenosynovitis