Which sensory exam findings are characteristic of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Nigel L Ashworth, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Sensory examination

  • Abnormalities in sensory modalities may be present on the palmar aspect of the first 3 digits and radial one half of the fourth digit. Semmes-Weinstein monofilament testing or 2-point discrimination may be more sensitive in picking this up; however, in the author's experience, pinprick sensation is as good as any test.

  • Sensory examination is most useful in confirming that areas outside the distal median nerve territory are normal (eg, thenar eminence, hypothenar eminence, dorsum of first web space).

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