Tinel’s sign is used by neurologists and othopaedic surgeons as a means of identifying irritated nerves.
How is Tinel’s test performed?
It is performed by percussing over a proximal nerve to elicit a sensation of tingling (pins and needles) in the distribution of the nerves.
In a positive result, the patient will experience a tingling sensation throughout the distal nerve branches.
Significance of Tinel’s sign
A positive Tinel’s sign is indicative of a possible neurological lession in an otherwise healthy adult or nerve regeneration in patients with partial nerve damage.
What are some examples of Tinel’s sign?
Example of Tinel’s sign in carpal tunnel syndrome. In this example, the clinician compresses the median nerve (in the wrist). A positive result of Tinel’s sign in carpal tunnel syndrome involves the presence of a tingling sensation in the thumb, index, and middle finger. Another example can include testing Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, where a positive result can be identified by pain in the sole of the foot associated with pins and needles. If a neurologist compreses the calf, the patient will experience numbness and tingling in the toes and sole of the foot, indicating nerve damage or nerve regeneration in previous partial nerve injuries.
Here is a video of Tinel’s test being performed: