Interactive Guide to Physical Examination

Advanced Exam Techniques

There are many examination techniques, beyond the scope of this module, that may be needed to further evaluate for the presence of pathology. However, there are several techniques that beginning students should know.

Phalen's Test & Tinel's Sign

In a patient who presents with pain and numbness (or paresthesias) in the hand, evaluate for evidence of median nerve compression in the carpal tunnel by performing Phalen's test or looking for Tinel's sign.

Weber and Rinne Test

Cranial nerve VIII can be further tested through the Weber and Rinne test. A 512HZ (or 1024HZ) tuning fork is needed. First perform the Weber test and then the Rinne test. These tests, in combination, can help differentiate between sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. The tests are demonstrated in the HEENT module.