In previous articles we have discussed some common orthopedic tests of the knee, and shoulder. In this article, we are going to describe three of the most common orthopedic tests that physical therapists used to diagnose hand and wrist conditions.
The Finkelstein test is used to check for DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis – a painful condition impacting the tendons in the wrist. During the test, the patient places their right finger in their right palm and wraps the right four fingers around the thumb to make a fist. Then, with the elbow at 90 degrees and the wrist in neutral position, the patient slowly tilts their fist downward. If the patient experiences pain at the top of their wrist, a diagnosis of DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis can be considered.
The tap/percussion test is used to diagnose fractures in the fingers. The test itself is quite simple. The patient extends their finger, and the physical therapist applies a forceful tap to the tip of the finger. If the patient experiences pain during the test, a fracture diagnosis is likely.
This exam is used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. To perform the test, the patient puts their arms out in front of them, with elbows at 90 degrees, and with the tops of both hands touching. When done correctly the patients fingers should be pointing straight down to the ground and the forearms should create a straight line parallel to the ground. The patient then applies a steady force through their forearms for one minute. If the patient experiences numbness and/or tingling in the hands or arms during this test, carpal tunnel nerve compression may be the diagnosis.
Twin Cities Wrist Physical Therapy
The physical therapists at OrthoRehab Specialists have over twenty-five years of experience treating patients with hand and wrist issues. Our rehabilitation specialists offer direct access to physical therapy in Minnesota, and also have standing relationships with over 600 local referring providers. Contact our physical therapy clinics in Edina and Minneapolis today to get started with your physical therapy routine.
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