Radial nerve dysfunction - Symptom
Neuropathy - radial nerve; Radial nerve palsy; Mononeuropathy
The following symptoms may occur:
- Abnormal sensations
- Hand or forearm ("back" of the hand)
- "Thumb side" (radial surface) of the hand
- Fingers nearest to the thumb (2nd and 3rd fingers)
- Difficulty straightening the arm at the elbow
- Difficulty bending the hand back at the wrist, or even holding the hand
- Numbness, decreased sensation, tingling, or burning sensation
Signs and tests:
The health care provider will take a detailed history to find out what you may have been doing just before the symptoms started, and to learn about any other medical problems you may have.
An exam of the arm, hand, and wrist may find:
- Decreased ability to extend the arm at the elbow
- Decreased ability to rotate the arm outward (supination)
- Difficulty lifting the wrist or fingers (extensor muscle weakness)
- Muscle loss (atrophy) in the forearm
- Weakness of the wrist and finger
- Wrist or finger drop
Tests may be needed, depending on the history, symptoms, and findings from the physical exam. Tests for nerve dysfunction may include:
- Reviewed last on: 9/26/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and 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.
Weiss LD, Pobre TE. Radial neuropathy. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr., eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 22.
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