Carpal Tunnel back 8 years after surgery?
Ok, here's my story. I developed CTS in high school. Ignored it for many years, as it was tolerable. When I got a job in my mid-20's working at a computer all day, the symptoms became unbearable. I went to see an orthopedic surgeon that I trusted completely, had operated on my husband and others with great success. I also knew him to be very conservative, which I liked. He tried every conservative treatment - OT, bracing, NSAID's, all to no avail. I had a negative NCS, but he felt strongly it was CTS and encouraged me to have surgery, which I did. My recovery was easy, and the pain was totally gone, so I was very pleased with that.
The dr. was concerned, enough so that he came out during surgery to talk to my husband, that my median nerve is in an abnormal location. My scar is much longer than normal because my nerve was so far out of place. He said this is something to make sure every surgeon is aware of in the future.
Fast forward 8 years. Within the past few weeks, the pain has come back as bad as ever. Hoping that going to the dr earlier this time would help, I made an appt with a hand surgeon. He was a little perplexed, saying that is CTS comes back, it's usually shortly after surgery, not 8 years later. He ordered another NCS and an EMG this time, both of which were normal again. After reviewing my previous records and test results, and examining my hand, he feels strongly it is CTS. he thinks my abnormal nerve structure contributes to the "normal" NCS results and the recurrence. He wants to do a cortisone injection as a diagnostic, saying if the injection works, it is likely the surgery will work. I wasn't comfortable doing the injection, and he said he won't do surgery without it. I'm also not comfortable jumping right into surgery.
What I'm not sure of is this...I don't know this dr or his reputation. I don't know if he is not the conservative type and one of those who feels surgery is the only answer, or if he truly believes surgery is my only option. He told me he would give me the names of several people to seek second opinions from, as well as a neurologist, but he strongly believes they will give the same response.
Since I refused the injection, he decided to brace it to at least give me some relief from the pain, but he said it's not going to fix it (which I already know, but at this point I need some relief).
Just not sure what to do, especially since my case is not a purely simple one. If I operate again, am I putting myself in the position of needing surgery every few years, and getting worse each time with additional scar tissue?
Thanks for keeping up, I know this is a long post!!!!!