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Carpal tunnel biopsy

Biopsy - carpal tunnel

 

Carpal tunnel biopsy is a test in which a small piece of tissue is removed from the carpal tunnel (part of the wrist).

How the Test is Performed

 

The skin of your wrist is cleansed 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 done at the same time as carpal tunnel release.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

Follow instructions for not eating or drinking 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 often done to see if you have a condition called amyloidosis. It is not usually done to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. However, a person with amyloidosis can have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is excessive pressure on the median nerve. This is the nerve in the wrist that allows feeling and movement to parts of the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.

 

Normal Results

 

No abnormal tissues are found.

 

What Abnormal Results Mean

 

An abnormal result means that you have amyloidosis.

 

Risks

 

Risks of this procedure include:

  • Bleeding
  • Damage to the nerve in this area
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

 

 

References

Calandruccio JH. Carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar tunnel syndrome, and stenosing tenosynovitis. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 76.

Hawkins PN. Amyloidosis. In: Hochberg MC, Silman AJ, Smolen JS, Weinblatt ME, Weisman MH, eds. Rheumatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2015:chap 168.

 
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

    Carpal tunnel syndrome - illustration

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is becoming more frequently recognized and may be occurring more often. It may result from repetitive motion or the use of devices like computer keyboards. It affects the median nerve, the nerve that supplies feeling and movement to the thumb and "thumb-side" of the hand.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome

    illustration

  • Surface anatomy - normal palm

    Surface anatomy - normal palm - illustration

    This picture shows the normal appearance of an adult's palm and fingers.

    Surface anatomy - normal palm

    illustration

  • Surface anatomy - normal wrist

    Surface anatomy - normal wrist - illustration

    This picture shows a normal flexed hand. The tendons that move the fingers and are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome are visible just below the wrist.

    Surface anatomy - normal wrist

    illustration

  • Carpal biopsy

    Carpal biopsy - illustration

    Biopsy of the wrist and carpal structures.

    Carpal biopsy

    illustration

    • Carpal tunnel syndrome

      Carpal tunnel syndrome - illustration

      Carpal tunnel syndrome is becoming more frequently recognized and may be occurring more often. It may result from repetitive motion or the use of devices like computer keyboards. It affects the median nerve, the nerve that supplies feeling and movement to the thumb and "thumb-side" of the hand.

      Carpal tunnel syndrome

      illustration

    • Surface anatomy - normal palm

      Surface anatomy - normal palm - illustration

      This picture shows the normal appearance of an adult's palm and fingers.

      Surface anatomy - normal palm

      illustration

    • Surface anatomy - normal wrist

      Surface anatomy - normal wrist - illustration

      This picture shows a normal flexed hand. The tendons that move the fingers and are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome are visible just below the wrist.

      Surface anatomy - normal wrist

      illustration

    • Carpal biopsy

      Carpal biopsy - illustration

      Biopsy of the wrist and carpal structures.

      Carpal biopsy

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Carpal tunnel biopsy

         

         

        Review Date: 9/22/2016

        Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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