Answer: Before a patient is assigned a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, a physician needs to make sure that the patient indeed has carpal tunnel syndrome and not a mimicker or “look alike” of carpal tunnel syndrome. Many times arthritis, tendonitis, ulnar neuropathy, cervical disc herniations or shoulder problems can be confused with carpal tunnel syndrome. Stages of carpal tunnel syndrome can be classified by an EMG/NCV test to determine the amount of nerve blockage. In a mild blockage a splint used on the wrist usually helps significantly, but in a severe case of blockage surgery is usually recommended to prevent permanent nerve damage. In moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome a patient has an option of wrist splint or surgery, depending on the severity of their symptoms and the degree with which it interferes with their activities or sleep.
March 1, 2010
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