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Phalens Test

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Other Names

Phalen’s Test
Demonstration of Phalen's Test[1]
Demonstration of the modified Phalen's test using the Semmes-Weinstein 2.83-unit monofilament[2]
  • Phalen's Maneuver
  • Phalen’s Test

Purpose


Description

  • The patient is seated
  • Both wrists are maximally flexed with the dorsal sides of each hand touching in a "reverse prayer" formation
  • Patient needs to actively apply pressure to dorsal sides
  • This position must hold this position for 30 - 60 seconds
  • This position increases pressure in the carpal tunnel
  • Positive Test
    • Reproduction of their symptoms
    • Paresthesia (burming, tingling, numbness)

Modification

  • Patient flexes wrists separately
  • Patient places dorsal hands against each other
  • Examiner flexes patient’s wrists

Modification

  • Traditional Phalen's test is performed
  • Examiner uses a Semmes-Weinstein 2.83-unit monofilament
  • The filament (see image, arrow) is applied perpendicular to the skin surface until it bends.

Pathology


Evidence

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Urbano et al[3]
    • Sensitivity: 51% - 91%
    • Specificity: 33% - 88%

See Also


References

  1. Image courtesy of wikimedia foundation, "Phalen Maneuver"
  2. Bilkis, Sayeeda, et al. "Modified Phalen's test as an aid in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome." Arthritis care & research 64.2 (2012): 287-289.
  3. Urbano, FL. Tinel's Sign and Phalen's Maneuver: Physical Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Hosptial Physician 2000; Jul,39-44.
Created by:
John Kiel on 7 August 2019 22:00:20
Authors:
Last edited:
16 May 2023 17:27:05
Category: