If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is advised that you come in for a consultation with Dr. Murphy. In order for Dr. Murphy to accurately diagnose the carpal tunnel condition, he may perform one or more of the following tests. The importance of these tests is to determine the underlying cause of the pain, whether or not the patient has carpal tunnel syndrome or cubital tunnel syndrome. It is possible for both to occur at the same time.
Tinel’s test: Dr. Murphy will tap the median nerve at the wrist mildly to see whether or not the patient has a sensation of numbness or tingling in one or more fingers.
Phalen’s test: The patient will press the backs of their hands against each other, leaving the wrists at a bent angle. If they experience tingling or numbness within a minute or less, this may be an indication that there is damage to the median nerve.
Nerve conduction study: This is the most commonly performed test. Electrodes are placed on the hand and wrist and mild electric shocks are administered. This test will measure the rate at which the nerves transmit the shock impulses to the muscles within the surrounding area.
Electromyography: A fine needle is inserted into the muscle, allowing the electrical activity to be portrayed on a screen. This can reveal whether or not there is any damage to the median nerve and how severe it is.
Blood tests: Blood tests can help detect many underlying conditions. Dr. Murphy may use a blood test to see if the conditions are related to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Imaging scans: X-rays can help to determine if there is a fracture or some other disorder in the wrist and hand, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Murphy may also use ultrasound scans because they can help evaluate the structure of the median nerve.