The Modified Phalen’s Test is a wrist examination procedure used to determine the presence of carpal tunnel syndrome. Pain is present when the median nerve is squeezed or pressed over the wrist area. This test is more sensitive than Phalen’s Test because there is increased compression over the carpal tunnel.
The patient should be awake and cooperative while a Modified Phalen’s Test is done. This test begins as a standard Phalen’s test.
- Patient may be seated or standing.
- Ask the patient to bend his elbows between 0 to 30 degrees. Then patient supinates his forearm.
- Examiner places pressure with his index finger and middle finger over the carpal tunnel as he holds the wrist in flexion.
- Patient must hold the position for 60 seconds. During this time, the examiner asks the patient how he feels or if there is pain along the wrist.
Positive Modified Phalen’s Test
There is positive Modified Phalen’s test if there is numbness or tingling over the area where the median nerve is distributed. The test is also positive when there is anterior wrist pain or weakness of the thumb opposition. These could indicate carpal tunnel syndrome.
Examiners must exercise caution and care while administering the Modified Phalen’s Test because there is additional compression over the carpal tunnel and hence it is more sensitive than a traditional test.