9 doctors weighed in:
How can you the difference between nerve damage, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome?
9 doctors weighed in

Dr. Robert Gluck
Surgery - Hand Surgery
3 doctors agree
In brief: Distinct anatomy
First off, carpal tunnel syndrome is a form of damage to the median nerve at the wrist.
It doesn't have to be permanent damage if treated properly, but can be if not. Tendonitis comes in many forms and locations and is usually readily identifiable on exam relative to the anatomy.

In brief: Distinct anatomy
First off, carpal tunnel syndrome is a form of damage to the median nerve at the wrist.
It doesn't have to be permanent damage if treated properly, but can be if not. Tendonitis comes in many forms and locations and is usually readily identifiable on exam relative to the anatomy.
Dr. Robert Gluck
Dr. Robert Gluck
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Dr. Olav Jaren
Neurology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Making the Diagnosis
The symptoms of these conditions are normally different.
They may feel differently, and they may affect different parts of the body. Often nerve conduction testing can separate these three diagnoses. It is the test used most often to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome and neuropathy. It is not capable of finding tendonitis. This is normally a clinical diagnosis.

In brief: Making the Diagnosis
The symptoms of these conditions are normally different.
They may feel differently, and they may affect different parts of the body. Often nerve conduction testing can separate these three diagnoses. It is the test used most often to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome and neuropathy. It is not capable of finding tendonitis. This is normally a clinical diagnosis.
Dr. Olav Jaren
Dr. Olav Jaren
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Dr. Randolph Evans
Neurology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Numbness
Carpal tunnel syndrome may cause numbness, tingling or pain in the thumb, index, middle, and sometimes thumb side of the fourth which which can also be associated with numbness going up to the elbow and occasionally the entire arm. Tendonitis is local pain over the involved tendon which may radiate.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is due to a compressed median nerve in the carpal tunnel at the wrist.

In brief: Numbness
Carpal tunnel syndrome may cause numbness, tingling or pain in the thumb, index, middle, and sometimes thumb side of the fourth which which can also be associated with numbness going up to the elbow and occasionally the entire arm. Tendonitis is local pain over the involved tendon which may radiate.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is due to a compressed median nerve in the carpal tunnel at the wrist.
Dr. Randolph Evans
Dr. Randolph Evans
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Dr. William Gaya
Neurology
In brief: Carpal tunnel
Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by hand pain and recurrent numbness or "pins and needle" sensations in the thumb, index, middle finger and the lateral aspect of the ring finger. It may be triggered by repetitive use, like driving or keyboard typing.
Diabetes or obesity increases risk of onset. Wearing a wrist cock- up splint is very effective. Surgery reserved for severe cases.

In brief: Carpal tunnel
Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by hand pain and recurrent numbness or "pins and needle" sensations in the thumb, index, middle finger and the lateral aspect of the ring finger. It may be triggered by repetitive use, like driving or keyboard typing.
Diabetes or obesity increases risk of onset. Wearing a wrist cock- up splint is very effective. Surgery reserved for severe cases.
Dr. William Gaya
Dr. William Gaya
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