Distal median nerve dysfunction

Alternative Names

Neuropathy – distal median nerve

Definition of Distal median nerve dysfunction

Distal median nerve dysfunction is a form of peripheral neuropathy that affects the movement of or sensation in the hands.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Dysfunction of one nerve group, such as the distal median nerve, is called a mononeuropathy. Mononeuropathy means there is a local cause of the nerve damage, although occasionally body-wide (systemic) disorders may cause isolated nerve damage.

Signs and tests

Your doctor will examine your wrist and ask questions about your medical history. The examination may show decreased sensation in the thumb side of the hand. This is called the “radial” side. There may be weakness of the thumb and difficulty using it to pinch.

Treatment

Treatment is aimed at correcting the underlying cause.

Expectations (prognosis)

If the cause of the nerve dysfunction can be identified and successfully treated, there is a good chance of full recovery. In some cases, there may be partial or complete or sensation. may be severe and persist for a prolonged period of time.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/27/2010

Central nervous system

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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