Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis
If your healthcare provider is unsure of a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis, or if symptoms continue after treatment, he or she may recommend a nerve conduction study or electromyography (EMG). These tests are used to see how well the median nerve is functioning and where it might be damaged. A small percentage (up to 10 percent) of people with carpal tunnel syndrome will have normal test results.
In a nerve conduction study, electrodes are placed on the hand and wrist. Small electric shocks are applied, and the speed with which nerves transmit impulses is measured. In electromyography, a fine needle is inserted into a muscle; electrical activity viewed on a screen can determine the severity of damage to the median nerve.
Several conditions share similar symptoms with carpal tunnel syndrome. Therefore, before diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome, your healthcare provider will consider many of these conditions. Some of these conditions include: