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Carpal tunnel biopsy
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Carpal tunnel biopsy

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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).

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • 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 or nurse 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 see if you have a condition called amyloidosis. It is not usually done to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Normal Results

    No abnormal tissues are found.

  • What Abnormal Results Mean

    An abnormal result is a sign of amyloidosis.

  • Risks

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

Related Information

  Primary amyloidosi...Carpal tunnel synd...     Carpal tunnel synd...

References

Gertz MA. Amyloidosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 194.

LeBlanc KE, Cestia W. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2011;83(8):952-958.

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Review Date: 8/11/2012  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. 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. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

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