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  • Cubital and Carpal Tunnel Diagnosed

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    Old 01-29-2006, 12:05 PM   #1
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    Cubital and Carpal Tunnel Diagnosed

    I've just been diagnosed with Cubital and Carpal tunnel as a result of a car accident and now scar tissue growth has entered the picture. In October, the Physical therapists concluded that I had only 30% use of my hand and 65% use of my elbow. Over the last couple of months, it has gotten worse in the movement and feeling areas. I can hardly feel anything in 3 of my fingers -- when I went back to the Orthopedic Surgeon in at the beginning of this month, he ordered an EMG to see what is causing the problem. His results were that there was Mild to Moderate Nerve damage and there has been agressive scar tissue growth in the elbow, wrist and hand. He is not convinced that a second surgery will do any good and may only cause more harm. So, he sent me back to Physical Therapy. However, I think I scare the Physical Therapist. I don't yell at them or anything, I just ask them a lot of questions, which I don't think they want to tell me. Current statistics say that I have approx. 16-18 % use of my hand. This is driving me a little crazy because the doctor is saying that I am over-using it -- but they told me to use it as much as possible -- how could I be using it too much??? He sent me to Physical Therapy because they are supposed to teach me to use it less -- however, I hardly use it at all -or- not nearly as much as I used to use it before the accident. And, I think that is what scares them is because they do not want to be the deliverers of bad news. I keep asking them, but they won't tell me -- I don't ask them what they have to do and I told them that I just need their opinion they don't need to quote it in notes or anything, just an opinion, I ask them what I need to do -- I told them my job is to usually fix things, so I need to know what I can do -- and they are silent -- is it possible that I will lose total use of my hand? Does anyone reading this post know -- I really need to know. They keep asking me what I do and when I tell them -- they just say oh. Ok, I'm a computer programmer, I type -- not as well as I used to, but it is becoming more difficult these days and they do not give me a straight answer. I don't mean to keep beating them up with the same questions, but I never get an answer.
    I just want an answer. It is weird because the doctor keeps saying -- you do realize you were in a "horrendous accident" and the therapists say nothing. I just need to know -- will it be gone in 6 months? Yes, they are teaching me to use it less -- the arm and hand spend most of their days and nights in splints and you really can't use them very much. The results of the pinch, strength, etc. tests are looking very bad, in the low single digits now.
    So, does anyone know what I can expect. Any insight would be very appreciated. Thank you.

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    Old 02-09-2006, 10:04 PM   #2
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    Re: Cubital and Carpal Tunnel Diagnosed probably won't want to hear my response......but I've lived it just like you and here's how it went for me. I was in a car accident, hit from behind at a complete standstill, at 50 mph. So both hands on the steering wheel - I had injury to the neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists and fingers. The whole deal! I basically sat with ice packs everywhere and ate Vioxx......the only thing that put a dent in the pain. I went to of which wanted to operate on my fingers due to "trigger finger"....which I didn't have......sent to rehab three different times, different places.....none did anything to help me. Only through my chiro and my own research did we determine I had Cubital syndrome. It has now been 2 1/2 years and I am almost back to normal. The greatest improvement was due to stretching exercises, with regard to the Ulnar nerve. I still have some swelling in the fingers in the morning, but my MD has me on a water pill every other day which really helps. So depending on how severe your injuries are, that was my timeframe. The arm, shoulder thing is the worst. I continued to work, I'm a pet groomer, so that didn't help things at all. I wasn't lying in bed every day - so you have to get on with it.....but I can assure you that my therapists had no clue how to handle my needs. It's almost made me want to go into physical therapy work so I can help people! Good Luck!

    Old 03-09-2006, 09:05 PM   #3
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    Post Re: Cubital and Carpal Tunnel Diagnosed

    Okay, guess I'm late to reply but in the clinic I visit, Universal City Medical Wellness Group, they specialize in treating musicians. The doctor I see who routinely takes care of musicians and other artists with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome has become renown for helping people avoid surgery or avoid relapses after surgery. These holistic practitioners are rewarded by helping the patient, and the patient's body, learn how to become well. Surgeons are rewarded financially when their patients return for more.... I recommend you find a complimentary alternative practitioner for a second opinion. Are the physical therapists you see complimentary alternative medical therapists, or more traditional?

    The docs I see, Dr. Michael Pangelinan, DC and Dr. David Rekar, MD do occasionally have patients with a lot of scar tissue, and they have them avoid movement at first, but education and intensive physical therapy can only work if the work is done.

    Examples of person's who must use their hands to make a living: Treated at Universal City Medical Wellness Group where I go were two legendary bass players, Billy Sheehan and Stu Hamm, both winners of Best Bassist in Guitar Player Magazine numerous times. In an article in Bass Magazine Sheehan says...I was dealing with severe pain for about 20 years, until my Chiropractor worked with me. Its fixed! Now I can play with more strength, fluidity, and freedom!

    Initial medical care for me for carpal and cubital was diuretics, sedatives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. I also type, and was told to hold off on that and do other work, which was difficult. When things didn't clear up in a few months surgery was suggested. But fortunately at that point I decided to seek the care of a Chiropractor and alternative medicine clinic and with five months of a lot of stretching, relaxing, and exercise complete remission happened - it required intensive rehabilitative and preventative exercises, vitamins etc.

    I really do hope you are able to do your therapy and can return the tissue to it's normal state. If it takes six months and you do the work it will sure be worth it. But one observation, sometimes it's teaching the patient how to relax and stretch that is the toughest thing....


    Last edited by karenq; 03-09-2006 at 09:44 PM.

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