Testing the Nerves in the Hand
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Median Nerve

Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Thenar eminence
o   Abduction of the thumb
o   Abductor policis brevis
  • Sensory of palmar surface of the lateral (radial) 3 ½ digits

Ulnar Nerve

  • Hypothenar eminence
  • Adducts the first finger – so try to test adduction of the finger alone
  • Sensory – ulnar 1 ½ digits

Radial Nerve

  • Extension of the wrist – ask the patient to cock the wrist back
  • Dorsal surface of lateral (radial) 3 ½ digits


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Dr Tom Leach

Dr Tom Leach MBChB DCH EMCert(ACEM) currently works as a GP Registrar and an Emergency Department CMO in Australia. He is also a Clinical Associate Lecturer at the Australian National University. After graduating from his medical degree at the University of Manchester in 2011, Tom completed his Foundation Training at Bolton Royal Hospital, before moving to Australia in 2013. He started almostadoctor whilst a third year medical student in 2009. Read full bio

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