When symptoms persist and medical attention is indicated, the purpose of that initial visit is twofold. One, it’s to diagnose the condition and make sure that the symptoms are in fact the result of carpal tunnel syndrome. There are conditions that mimic those symptoms fairly closely, so your doctor is going to want to know your history, when the symptoms occur, what they feel like, what precipitates them, what makes them better. The other purpose is to outline treatment. The first stage of treatment is to confirm the diagnosis with a set of tests. Those tests are called nerve conduction studies and EMG, and they’re typically performed by a neurologist. Your hand doctor may refer you to a neurologist for testing. The tests will confirm whether or not your symptoms are in fact related to carpal tunnel syndrome, and very importantly, they’ll also categorize the severity of the syndrome as mild, moderate, or severe. That in turn helps guide your doctor in determining the best treatment for your condition.
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