Counsel That You Can Trust & Depend On


Guy DiMartino Feb. 15, 2015

You were injured in an accident and you think you may be getting carpal tunnel syndrome. It brings up the question, how is carpal tunnel diagnosed?

The culprit in carpal tunnel syndrome is entrapment of the median nerve. The median nerve travels down the forearm, through the carpal tunnel and supplies function to the thumb, next two fingers, and part of the ring finger in some people.

People may complain of pain, cramping, numbness, tingling, waking up at night or even weakness in their hand.

The first part of diagnosis is taking a good history from the patient. Once the history is done and the doctor suspects carpal tunnel. There are pretty much two physical tests that can be done.

The first one is Tinel's sign. The doctor will tap along the median nerve to see if it reproduces some of the patient's symptoms. The next test is called Phalen's test. In Phalen's test, you have the patient put their hands like this and you hold it for 15 or 30 seconds and you go ahead and see if it reproduces the symptoms.

Again, what they are doing is closing off the area where the median nerves runs. If those two tests are positive or the doctor thinks that that there may be carpal tunnel syndrome going on, they may recommend some electro-diagnostic testing.

These come in two flavors. The NCV or nerve conduction velocity test, which measures the sensory component or feeling component of the nerve. The EMG or electromyography test measures the motor or strength component of the nerve.

This is how carpal tunnel is diagnosed. I share this great information with you because if you have an understanding what is going on you will be compliant with your doctor's recommendations and you will understand how the problem started and what can happen to fix it.

If you have any questions about a Northwest Indiana accident case, you can always give me a call at (219) 874-4878.