Diagnostic Tests for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The best way to diagnosis Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to be evaluated by a specialized hand doctor such as Dr. Rehman. She has treated thousands of cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in her Shelby Township and Bloomfield Hills offices.

Dr. Rehman has several medical tests that can be used to diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and rule out other causes of hand and wrist pain. In this article we explain some of the medical tests used at our Bloomfield Hills office to accurately diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Tinel’s Sign Test for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

During a Tinel’s Sign Test, Dr. Rehman will tap or press on the median nerve in your wrist with a reflex hammer. If your fingers tingle – or if you feel an electric-shock-like sensation – this means that the test is “positive” and you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Phalen’s Maneuver for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Phalen’s Maneuver is also known as the Wrist-Flexion Test. Dr. Rehman will have you press the backs of your hands together, while your fingers are together and pointed down, and your wrists are flexed. She will have you stay in this position for one to two minutes. If your fingers tingle or get numb, you likely have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Two-Point Discrimination Test for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A Two-Point Discrimination Test determines if you can tell if two objects touching your skin are two distinct points instead of just one. A piece of equipment called a 2-point disk-criminator wheel is used. It is a small, flat, eight-sided, round tool with prongs sticking out from all sides.

Dr. Rehman will typically perform several tests on each finger – starting by touching your skin on two places a few centimeters apart, and moving closer together until you feel just one point of pressure.

The distance at which a patient feels only one point of pressure helps identify nerve function and compression – which are two important components of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Nerve Conduction Velocity Test for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Nerve Conduction Velocity measures how fast an electric signal can travel along a nerve, or from the nerve to a muscle. This test is somewhat more involved, but it provides some of the strongest evidence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

A small electrode is placed on the skin near the elbow, sending a mild electrical current down the median nerve. The more time it takes for the current to travel from the elbow to the fingers, the more damage there is to the median nerve.

Electromyogram for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

An Electromyogram measures how well the muscle around the median nerve works. A small needle electrode is placed into those muscles in the hand and arm that get impulses from the median nerve.

The patient relaxes and flexes the hand several times while the needle sends electric impulses into the muscle.  Dr. Rehman can tell by monitoring the electrical impulse if the median nerve is damaged or being squeezed as the impulse travels through the arm.

Ultrasound, X-ray, and MRI for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

An ultrasound or MRI will show if the median nerve is swollen or compressed – and can also indicate why it is being squeezed, whether from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or another reason.

X-rays can also rule out other causes of wrist and hand pain – including fractures, tendonitis and other conditions.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Doctor Bloomfield Hills

If you think you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. As with most medical conditions, early detection, awareness, and a prevention or treatment plan is the most effective way to combat the effects of conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Bloomfield Hills Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Doctor: 248.335.2638