Reference Index - Medical Tests

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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 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 rule out a condition called amyloidosis .



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:

Rajkumar SV, Dispenzieri A. Multiple myeloma and related disorders. In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKenna WG, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 110.




Review Date: 7/28/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; 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., Inc.

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