Referral to emergency

If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergent medical advice if in a remote region.

  • development of peripheral nerve compression symptoms following trauma or acute event

Please contact the on-call registrar to discuss your concerns prior to referral.

For clinical advice, please telephone the relevant metropolitan Local Health Network switchboard and ask to speak to the relevant specialty service.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network

Regional Health Networks

Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network

Eyre and Far North Local Health Network

Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network

Limestone Coast Local Health Network

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network

Category 1 (appointment clinically indicated within 30 days)

  • acute sudden onset severe carpal tunnel symptoms suggestive of acute nerve compression

Category 2 (appointment clinically indicated within 90 days)

  • progressive neurological changes with muscle wastage
  • symptom recurrence post-surgical decompression
  • moderate-severe carpal tunnel with nerve conduction study, if nerve conduction study not available, consider ultrasound (US) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • symptomatic carpal tunnel with impact on acts of daily living /employment

Category 3 (appointment clinically indicated within 365 days)

  • intermittent symptoms without weakness or wasting after 6 months maximum medical management
  • median/ulnar entrapment neuropathy without weakness or wasting when no response to equal to or greater than 6 months of maximal management
  • mild carpal tunnel with nerve conduction study, if nerve conduction study not available, consider US or MRI
  • symptomatic nerve entrapment without muscle wastage and weakness with failed maximal medical management equal to or greater than 6 months duration

For information on referral forms and how to import them, please view general referral information.

Essential referral information

Completion required before first appointment to ensure patients are ready for care. Please indicate in the referral if the patient is unable to access mandatory tests or investigations as they incur a cost or are unavailable locally.

  • identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander  
  • relevant social history, including identifying if you feel your patient is from a vulnerable population and/or requires a third party to receive correspondence on their behalf
  • interpreter required
  • cultural considerations
  • age
  • past medical/surgical history
  • medications and dosages
  • allergies and sensitivities
  • height, weight and body mass index (BMI)
  • smoking, alcohol and other drug use
  • onset, duration, and progression of symptoms
  • nerve conduction study,if nerve conduction study not available, consider ultrasound (US) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • management history including:
    • injury/trauma if relevant
    • onset and duration
    • severity
    • pain
    • associated features, for example functional impairment
    • use of immobiliser/splint/cast
    • treatments trialled/implemented prior to referral
  • sensory or motor deficit distribution, for example median, ulnar or radial nerves

Additional information to assist triage categorisation

  •  previous related allied health reports and summaries