Author(s): Strmberg T, Dahlin LB, Rosn I, Lundborg G
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Abstract Fractionated nerve conduction, vibrotactile sense, and temperature thresholds were studied in 73 symptomatic vibration-exposed male workers. Three symptomatic groups were distinguished: patients with isolated sensorineural symptoms; with isolated vasospastic problems; and with both. Clinical carpal tunnel syndrome occurred in 14 patients and abnormal cold intolerance (without blanching of the fingers) in 23. In the group as a whole, nerve conduction studies were abnormal in the median nerve but not in the ulnar nerve and vibration perception and temperature thresholds were impaired. Of the three symptomatic groups, patients with isolated sensorineural symptoms differed from controls. No differences were seen between patients with and without clinical carpal tunnel syndrome. With severe sensorineural symptoms the vibration perception thresholds, but not the values of the nerve conduction studies, were further impaired. The results indicated two injuries that are easily confused: one at receptor level in the fingertips and one in the carpal tunnel. Careful clinical assessment, neurophysiological testing, and examination of vibrotactile sense are required before carpal tunnel release should be considered in these patients.
This article was published in J Hand Surg Br
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy