Do I Have Carpal Tunnel?

October 15, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Carpal tunnel is the most commonly reported medical problem in the workplace. Testing for the condition used to involve several doctors appointments and sometimes a painful needle test. But now, diagnosing carpal tunnel just got a whole lot easier.Benjamin Torrent has to be crafty to work around his painful hand, wrist and arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects every aspect of Torrent's life -- from washing dishes to driving. He can't even put two hands on the steering wheel of his car.

Torrent was diagnosed with carpal tunnel six months ago, but getting that diagnosis wasn't easy with the standard test. "You had to go through various referrals from the doctor to a specialist, from the specialist to the insurance, from the insurance, to get a nerve conduction test," Torrent recalled to Ivanhoe. The process that had him running all over town; but now, there's a new way to diagnose carpal tunnel right in the doctor's office.

"This test actually can help us find -- make this diagnosis at an early stage, so we can treat it early," Karon LoCicero, M.D., an internal medicine specialist at LoCicero Medical Group in Tampa, Fla., told Ivanhoe.

A technician places electrodes on the patient's arm and hand. Small electrical currents are applied to the electrodes. Nerves respond to the signals. The patient feels just a small shock, and the test takes 10 minutes. The technician then transmits data to the lab and a report is faxed back within two to four minutes.

"It's at the office," Dr. LoCicero explained. "The results are read the same day." Benjamin says the new test was much easier. He's now hoping surgery will fix the problem for good!

The testing device -- called NC-stat -- is FDA cleared. It can be used in any doctor's office, so the patient doesn't have to get a referral to a neurologist. The results of the standard nerve test could take up to six weeks from the time a doctor refers a patient. Most insurance companies cover the test. It runs about $150.

For More Information, Contact:
John Stengrevics
NEUROMetrix, Inc.
Waltham, MA
(781) 314-2717
John_Stengrevics@neurometrix.com


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