Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Diagnosis
1. Tinel's sign test
In tinel’s sign test, the doctor taps gently over the median nerve. In case a mild- shock sensation is produced, it is assumed that the patient has developed symptoms that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome
2. Hand elevation test
Another test that can lead to initiation of carpal tunnel syndrome signs, in case the disease has set in. In this test, the patient is made to raise hands for a minimum of 2 minutes. In case any of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome ( numbness, pain) sets in, the patient is diagnosed to be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
3. Phalen's test
The patient is made to lie down with the elbow resting on a table. The wrist dangles with fingers pointing downwards. The back of the hands are pressed together. Generally, in patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, the symptoms develop within a minute.
4. Pressure provocation test
5. Nerve conduction test
In this test surface electrodes are tied to hand and wrist of the patient. Low intensity electric shock is given to nerves in the fingers, wrist and forearm. The aim of the test is to check the speed with which the signal travels through nerves that control movement and sensation. Patients who have mild carpal tunnel syndrome do not benefit much from this test. However, those suffering from serious carpal tunnel syndrome complications are easily identified through nerve conduction tests.
In electromyography, a sterile electrode is inserted into the muscle. The electric impulse is displayed on the screen. Electromyography is used in cases, when it is not possible to identify the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome through nerve conduction test.
7. Portable electrodiagnostic testing
Portable electrodiagnostic testing devices are put to use in nerve conduction test. There use in clinical trials is however limited.
An ultrasound of the patient reveals any potential pressing of the median nerve that possibly causes carpal tunnel syndrome. Ultrasound is of great use, in case when carpal tunnel syndrome is in its initial stages.
9. Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Any potential damage to the median nerve clearly emerges in magnetic resonance imaging. The images produced are analyzed on the monitor. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are considered vital in analyzing symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, in case the same are done in initial stages of the disease.