Distal median nerve dysfunction - Symptom
Neuropathy - distal median nerve
- Pain in the wrist or hand that wakes you up at night
- May be severe
- Pain may be felt in other areas, for example in the upper arm (this is called referred pain)
- Sensation changes in the thumb and pointer (index), middle, and part of the ring fingers, such as:
- Weakness of the hand that causes you to:
- Drop things
- Have difficulty grasping objects
Signs and tests:
Your doctor will examine your wrist and ask questions about your medical history. The examination may show decreased sensation in the thumb side of the hand. This is called the "radial" side. There may be weakness of the thumb and difficulty using it to pinch.
Tests that reveal distal median nerve dysfunction may include:
Tests are guided by the suspected cause of the dysfunction as suggested by the patient's history, symptoms, and pattern of symptom development. They may include various blood tests, x-rays, imaging scans, or other tests and procedures.
- Reviewed last on: 8/27/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Jarvik JG, Comstock BA, Kliot M, et al. Surgery versus non-surgical therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized parallel-group trial. Lancet.2009 Sep 26;374(9695):1074-81.
Zhao M, Burke D. Median neuropathy (carpal tunnel syndrome). In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 32.
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