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Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome


Surface anatomy - normal palm
Surface anatomy - normal palm


Surface anatomy - normal wrist
Surface anatomy - normal wrist


Carpal biopsy
Carpal biopsy


Carpal tunnel biopsy

Definition:

Carpal tunnel biopsy is a test in which a small piece of tissue is removed from the carpal tunnel (part of the wrist).



Alternative Names:

Biopsy - carpal tunnel



How the test is performed:

The skin of your wrist is scrubbed and injected with medicine that numbs the area. Through a small cut, a sample of tissue is removed from the carpal tunnel. This is done by direct removal of tissue or by needle aspiration .

Sometimes this procedure is performed at the time of carpal tunnel release .



How to prepare for the test:

Your doctor or nurse may ask that you not eat anything for a few hours before the test.



How the test will feel:

You may feel some stinging or burning when the numbing medicine is injected. You may also feel some pressure or tugging during the procedure. Afterward, the area may be tender or sore for a few days.



Why the test is performed:

This test is usually done to see if you have a condition called amyloidosis . It is not usually done to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome.



Normal Values:

No abnormal tissues are found.



What abnormal results mean:

An abnormal result is a sign of amyloidosis.



What the risks are:
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to the nerve in this area
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)


Special considerations:

If the carpal tunnel biopsy reveals a problem, your health care provider may suggest a carpal tunnel release procedure. Additional surgery to correct or improve the problem may be recommended.



References:

Gertz MA. Amyloidosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 194.

LeBlanc KE, Cestia W. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2011;83(8):952-958.




Review Date: 8/11/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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