Latest diagnostic criteria
for carpal tunnel

The latest diagnostic criteria for carpal tunnel comes from the recommendations of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for work-related carpal tunnel syndrome.

In diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome, it should include two or more of the following criteria:

(ONE or MORE SYMPTOMS and ONE or MORE OBJECTIVE findings. One or more of the FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS affecting at least part of the median nerve distribution of the hand:

Paresthesias-(pronounced Pair-ruh-steezes-yuh) which is
Numbness and Tingling of the fingers
Hypesthesias-(pronounced Hi-puh-steezes-yuh)
a Reduction in the sense of touch of the finger or thumb pads, and surface of the palm.

One or more of the FOLLOWING OBJECTIVE findings:

Physical Findings of median nerve compression
Including a positive Tinel's sign or a positive Phalen's test
Decreased or absent sensation to pin prick in the median nerve distribution
Electrodiagnostic findings(i.e. NERVE CONDUCTION TEST (NCS), and/or an EMG TEST for carpal tunnel syndrome). Also REVIEW: ABNORMAL NERVE CONDUCTION TEST So in other words, you need at least one from the SYMPTOMS group, and at least one from the OBJECTIVE FINDINGS group in order to fall under this diagnostic criteria for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Although the latest diagnostic criteria for carpal tunnel was developed to better help define and track carpal tunnel syndrome from a governmental labor standpoint, the criteria is appropriate and helpful for clinical practice as well, whether work-related or not.

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