Nerve Testing (PSSD)

Neurosensory testing is a non-invasive technique for assessing nerve damage by measuring the pressure threshold felt in the skin. By testing an area of the skin that corresponds to a specific nerve, the extent of nerve damage can be determined by the amount of pressure needed for a person to feel the touch of the testing device. 

An individual with a healthy nerve can feel a very light touch and has a low pressure of threshold. However, a person with a nerve that has been damaged by compression or neuropathy will require a greater than normal pressure for the touch to be felt and, therefore, have an abnormal pressure threshold.

The Pressure Specified Sensory Device (PSSD), is used to make these measurements of pressure threshold. This device consists of two blunt probes and sensitive transducers to measure pressure without causing pain to the person being tested.

You may be referred for a Neurosensory Test after the first visit.  The test results, along with the physical examination and medical history, will assist the physician in arriving at a diagnosis of your medical situation. The test identifies if there is a nerve problem.  As treatment progresses, you may have additional sensory testing to document that the nerve is healing and to help determine if other treatment is needed.

Some individuals will have Neurosensory Testing done every year to follow a nerve condition that is abnormal and not serious but that may become very serious over time. Persons taking annual tests include those with diabetes, those exposed to lead or other chemicals, persons undergoing chemotherapy or those in kidney dialysis.  Your physician is able to compare your annual sensory tests to see if the nerve condition is worsening and to determine when treatment is needed.