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October 18, 2000

Clinical Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

JAMA. 2000;284(15):1924-1925. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-284-15-jlt1018

To the Editor: I suggest that Drs D'Arcy and McGee1 should have entitled their article, "Does This Patient Have Abnormal Median Nerve Conduction?"

Carpal tunnel syndrome is experienced by patients who have sensory changes in a median nerve distribution reproducible by the Tinel and Phalen signs. This is the result of mechanical deformation of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. With prolonged and persistent compression, nerve conduction is slowed and, ultimately, irreversible injury occurs.