When patient history and physical examination are strongly suggestive, that carpal tunnel syndrome is the source of your complaints, your hand specialist is likely to refer you to a neurologist to perform nerve conduction testing and EMG. Those tests measure the actual function of the nerves and the extremity. And in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, they'll show a very localized decrease in function of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel. The tests therefore are used to confirm the diagnosis. In addition, those same tests can tell us the severity of the nerve compression. Is this mild compression or is it more significant? Is it moderate or severe compression that may be more likely to lead to nerve damage if left untreated? So those nerve tests are very important in confirming that carpal tunnel syndrome is in fact the cause of your symptoms and in determining how it should be treated.
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