How can I tell if I have carpal tunnel?

Phalens Exam. Lift both hands to the level of your head and let the wrists just flop over so that your fingers are pointing towards your ears. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. If you experience numbness, tinging or pain in your hands this is highly suggestive of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Nerve test. Most common symptoms are numbness, tingling and night pain. Usually thumb index middle and part of the ring finger. An exam with a hand surgeon and a nerve conduction test will confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity.

Related Questions

How can I tell whether I have carpal tunnel syndrome?

Numbness in hand. Carpal tunnel means that the median nerve in your wrist is compressed or irritated as it travels through the carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel can cause numbness and/or "tingling" in the thumb, index, middle, and 1/2 of the ring finger. It may involved any or all of these fingers. In addition some patients experience wrist pain and some experience weakness in their hand. Read more...
History, exam, tests. While the diagnosis of carpal tunnel can often be made on the basis of a careful history and examination, electrical testing can be used to prove the diagnosis. This is important to rule out other diagnoses (e.g. Pinched nerve in the neck) that may be causing your symptoms. A neurologist can help guide diagnosis and treatment, . Read more...

How can I tell if I have early carpal tunnel syndrome?

Pain. Pain tingling , numbness, thumb index and middle fingers, unable to perform simple repeat moments like typing, conduction studies are need to confirm the diagnosis. Read more...
Symtoms. These usually include tingling of the fingers, usually not the small finger. Sometimes waking up at night with numb hands. Pain over the wrist. Some patients will complain of a swelling sensation of the hands. If these exist you might want to get it checked out by your doc. Read more...
VIDEO carpal tunnel. Here is a video i made a few years back sorry for the bear but it is good information http://www.Youtube.Com/watch?V=lwghddhvm60&list=plcbd41f7a42e20469&index=4&feature=plpp_video. Read more...

How can I tell if I have an indication for carpal tunnel surgery?

U can not. Let your doctor decide. Read more...
Conservative failure. If splints, meds, rest and cortisone fail and you have a positive emg/ncs then you may want to consider surgery. Read more...
Atrophy/dysfunction. Generally it comes done to permanent damage such as muscle atrophy or injury or interference with function as well as the presence of permanent lesions which will not respond to non-surgical treatments. Read more...
Symptoms. Symptoms that are present daily - not responsive to proper splints, associated with wasting of muscles or loss of function and or very painful generally require surgery. Everything else may wait at your discretion. Read more...
Constant symptoms. Once symptoms have been constant for 6 months, it's hard to resolve them with non-operative treatment. Loss of muscle bulk in the thumb or complete loss of sensation in the digits is an indication for operative treatment. Oral/injectable steroids, splints and or therapy are used to treat symptoms. If symptoms continue after these treatments, surgery is indicated. Read more...