is usually diagnosed from the results of a:
- Medical history, including any medical problems or illnesses, prior injuries, current symptoms, or daily activities that may be causing your symptoms.
- Hand diagram. You may be asked to help fill in a diagram of your hand to show where you have numbness, tingling, or pain.
- Physical exam, including the tests for Tinel's sign, Phalen's sign, and two-point discrimination. Although many other tests have been developed for diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome, there is no convincing evidence of their accuracy.
If your symptoms are severe, if nonsurgical treatment has not improved symptoms, or if your symptoms are not clearly caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor may recommend:
- Nerve testing (electromyogram [EMG] and nerveconduction studies), to evaluate any loss of normal functioning in the.Nerve testing for carpal tunnel syndrome is used inspecific situations, such as when surgery is being considered or the diagnosisis unclear.
- X-rays, to check for bone problemscaused by past injury,, recently broken or dislocated bones, ortumors. X-rays are not used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, but they can behelpful for identifying signs of arthritis or an old or new wrist or neckinjury that may be contributing to your symptoms.
- , to look at the size of the median nerve.It is inexpensive, comfortable, and quick. But its use for carpal tunnelsyndrome diagnosis is still unproved and relatively uncommon.
- (magnetic resonance imaging), to look for swellingof the median nerve, narrowing of the carpal tunnel, or problems withcirculation of blood through the carpal tunnel.
- Blood tests, which are sometimes done to checkfor a,, or other medical problem. If thecause of your symptoms is unclear and your medical history suggests otherpossible conditions, your doctor may order blood tests.