Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis
Prior to making a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, your healthcare provider will consider other conditions that share similar signs and symptoms. He or she will also perform a physical exam to look for symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, a number of tests are used in making a diagnosis, including a wrist flexion test and a nerve conduction study.
In order to make a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis, your healthcare provider will begin by asking a number of questions. This will include questions about:
- Your current symptoms (see Carpal Tunnel Symptoms)
- Medical conditions you currently have or have had (see Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
- Your current medications
- Family history of any medical conditions
- Your occupation.
He or she will also perform a physical exam, looking for signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Your healthcare provider will examine the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck. He or she will also test the sensation in your fingers.
A number of tests are also used to try and re-create symptoms. One of these tests is called a wrist flexion test. This test is positive when carpal tunnel symptoms appear within 60 seconds of flexing the wrists.
Early diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome are important to avoid permanent damage to the median nerve.