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Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis & Misdiagnosis – Get It Right The First Time

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition resulting from a nerve in your wrist being pinched. Sufferers may feel a burning, numbing, tingling or itching feeling in the affected hand(s). Many patients report a swollen feeling in their hand and a loss of grip strength. You may first notice your carpal tunnel when you awake one morning—symptoms are often present at this time as a result of straining your wrist while sleeping.

Why is Proper Diagnosis Important?

Since the main symptoms of carpal tunnel are physical discomfort (pain, numbness, and tingling), it’s easy to mistake it for other conditions. Other conditions that can produce similar symptoms include arthritis, gout, and bone fractures. Additionally, if you have tendonitis it could actually lead to carpal tunnel since the swelling can pinch a nerve in your wrist.

These strikingly similar conditions can make it very tough to properly diagnose carpal tunnel. Some conditions, such as tendonitis, are fairly easy to distinguish due to the location of your pain. Since it’s caused by a pinched nerve on the inner part of your wrist, that’s generally the side of your hand that you’ll feel the pain and numbness on. If the outer part of your wrist is the affected side, it’s more likely the result of tendonitis. These two conditions are fairly easy to tell apart.

For other conditions, you may have more of an issue making a decision. A fracture can essentially affect any part of your hands and wrists since there are a variety of bones that could be fractured in the area. Arthritis is probably the most difficult to distinguish, as its symptoms (pain, numbness, and tingling) can almost perfectly mimic those of carpal tunnel.

This also works in reverse—many patients who actually have arthritis or another condition end up being diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Proper diagnosis is essential to effective treatment, as each condition has specific methods of treatment.

What Are My Options?

With four offices spanning the greater New York area and a team of board certified neurologists, Complete Neurological Care has the skills and resources to correctly diagnose you the first time and provide the treatment you need. Our doctors receive their education at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the area, meaning you have experienced and qualified staff on hand at all times. Complete Neurological Care combines in-depth knowledge, advanced technology and a clean and friendly environment to offer you the best possible treatment.

If you’ve been having pain, tingling and numbness in your wrist, call us at Complete Neurological Care to book an appointment and make sure you’re diagnosed correctly the first time around.

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