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Diagnostic Tests for Arm weakness

Diagnostic Test list for Arm weakness:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Arm weakness includes:

  • General appearance - looking for bruising, deformity of arm, swelling of the arm, abnormal posture of body, muscle wasting, abnormal arm movements.
  • Physical examination
    • Blood pressure and pulse to detect risk factors for stroke
    • Listen for carotid bruits which can indicate narrowing of arteries to brain and thus risk factor of stroke
    • May be necessary to examine a variety of joints including the cervical spine, shoulder, elbow , wrists and the various joints of the hand
    • Test muscle tone, power, reflexes and co-ordination of upper limbs
    • Test sensation of upper limbs ( including pain , touch , temperature and vibration sensation)
    • Examine each nerve of the upper limb (including radial , median, ulnar nerve and also brachial plexus
    • Examination of cranial nerves - ( if also affected would suggest a diagnosis of cerebrovascular disease , a mass in the brain or multiple sclerosis.
    • Examination of the lower limbs
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count
    • Platelets
    • ESR
    • Electrolytes
    • Blood sugar - to detect diabetes which can cause peripheral neuropathy, peripheral nerve lesions, increased risk of strokes.
    • Lipid profile - looking for high cholesterol can increase risk of strokes.
    • Thyroid function tests - to diagnose hypothyroidism ( can cause carpal tunnel syndrome).
    • Clotting screen - if thrombotic stroke in young person or recurrent thrombotic disease to detect antithrombin III deficiency, protein C or S deficiency, lupus anticoagulant.
  • Radiology investigations
    • Neck X-ray (look for cervical rib which may cause thoracic outlet syndrome
    • Upper Thoracic spine X-Ray
    • Elbow , forearm, Shoulder X-ray - may need to X-ray both sides to compare, especially in children.
    • Wrist and Hand X-Ray - may need to X-ray both sides to compare, especially in children.
    • CT Scan or MRI of Cervical spine - can detect nerve root entrapment in the intervertebral foramina of the cervical spine or a disc prolapse.
    • Ultrasound scan - modern sophisticated ultrasound examination is becoming a vital diagnostic modality for soft tissue disorders.
    • Chest X-Ray - looking for a large heart secondary to high blood pressure or other cardiac disease.
    • Carotid artery Doppler - to measure flow through arteries to brain.
    • CT Scan Brain - to detect stroke , brain mass.
  • ECG - to detect atrial fibrillation that may have caused a stroke; can detect a recent heart attack that can predispose to a stroke.
  • Nerve Conduction studies
  • Electromyography - to diagnose entrapment syndromes of peripheral nerve.

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Arm weakness causes:

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Arm weakness:

The following list of conditions have 'Arm weakness' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Arm weakness or choose View All.

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