Purpose: This study is aimed at reviewing the different clinical and theoretic aspects of syndromes involving compression of the median nerve in order to distinguish carpal tunnel syndrome from other compressions more proximate to the median nerve.
Source of data: All of the studies and data pertinent to the article came from research indexed in MEDLINE between 1966 and 1988 and from reference volumes dealing with the subject of the article.
Results: Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most frequent compression of the median nerve. However, compressions at the elbow under the struthers ligament, in the forearm under the musculus pronator teres and the biceps and a compression of the anterior branch of the median nerve can lead to symptoms and indications resembling those of carpal tunnel syndrome. There are some orthopedic tests and neurological evaluations that enable us to make a precise diagnosis and find the exact site of the nerve compression (electromyography and nerve conduction speed).
Conclusion: Given indications and symptoms of impairment of the median nerve, we must ensure that the diagnosis is precise and the site of the compression mechanism of the median nerve has been identified. This enables us to avoid ineffective treatments. The chiropractor has all of the knowledge necessary to make the right diagnosis and to guide the patient toward the most appropriate intervention.
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