The case history is the cornerstone for the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The value of neurological examination in CTS seems limited. In this study, we investigated the interobserver agreement in case history of CTS and the potential additional value of neurological examination.
Case history was taken and neurological examination was done in all patients referred for a possible CTS during a 6-month period. This was done independently by 2 senior neurologists.
We studied 119 patients. The interobserver agreement for the conclusion of CTS after history was high (k = 0.79). Neurological examination rarely changed the diagnosis based on the case history.
This study shows a high interobserver agreement in the diagnosis of CTS based on patient history alone. Neurological examination rarely changed this diagnosis, suggesting a prominent role for the case history and a limited role for neurological examination. This may have practical implications.