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Sudden Onset CTS? Is this possible?

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Old 04-20-2007, 11:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 2
Knfused HB User
Question Sudden Onset CTS? Is this possible?

In January I started my job at a local cabinet making company. My job was to sand with an orbital sander all day, sometimes I would help break down boards that weren't suitable for the cabinets. To break the boards, we literally lifted them in the air with both hands and hit them repeatedly on the concrete floor until they were properly broken. By the end of January I was experiencing numbness and tingling. I didn't work for 1 month due to back injury and my symptoms went away. I started work again in Mid-March and within a few days my symptoms were back and rapidly worsening. Two weeks ago an orthopedist tested and confirmed CTS (mild in left and moderate in right hand) with tenosynovitis in my right hand. I did a 6 day dose of oral steroids with no relief of the CTS but mild relief of the tenosynovitis. I work M-F, doing mostly the sanding still and occasionally breaking the boards and my condition is worsening with each day. I am in constant pain. The pins and needles don't go away after awakening and moving, I grab ANYTHING and it is instant tingling, numbess and pain shooting from my palm through my forearm. Has anyone ever heard of sudden onset CTS? Can you recommend any articles or anyting? Being that I have never had a single symptom before January and the rate of rapid acceleration of this disease leads me to believe this may be work related but workmans comp says it just isn't possible and are refusing my claim. Please, can anybody help me?

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Old 04-21-2007, 04:15 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mobile AL
Posts: 2
bnot HB User
Re: Sudden Onset CTS? Is this possible?

Obviously this is a very slow board, I been waiting on a response for 3 days now.

I'm 50, and just had my first onset myself. Strange thing, I do a lot of maintenace on my home, and never had this kinda problem before. Mine started doing ceramic tile in my living room and hall last week.

I been doing research on the internet, since my dx 5 days ago, and not finding anything thats been helpful for relief. I've found to ice for swelling, take something for swelling and put the stabilizer on wrist only at night.

Yes, from what I understand this can be job related although from what I found so far, anything doing with your hands like sanding or something repeticious, can give you onset of it.

Seems from what little I've found out, workmans comp will fight you over it too, and win a lot of the times. I'm retired on disability, so don't have that to worry with.

Also from what I've found out, it takes going through a year of suffering with it to get surgery.

All I keep reading is rest the hand as much as possible, ice and ibuprofen for swelling and splint at night. One girl that has had this before keeps saying ortho doc can help with exercises and pain.

Hopefully if I keep looking, I will find a website that isn't so slow in support.

Thats about all I learned so far, which certainly isn't much help to you.

I do know that stabilizing at night has kept me from waking in the middle of the night in deep pain, and numb.

If you learn anything more for pain, let me know. Kinda thinking though, your about where I am with this, or maybe not much further up the road than I am.

I plan on looking in the phone book Monday for othro doc. My GP is the one that diagnosed me.. He's a great doc at dx'ing, but I feel I need a lot more that what he told me.

Good luck on finding out more. If I learn more, I will come back and post websites of where I learned from. I know darn good and well, we aren't the only ones with this, lol.

Old 04-22-2007, 01:18 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 2
Knfused HB User
Re: Sudden Onset CTS? Is this possible?

Thanks for your response! I have been using splints at night along with high dose Naproxen(Aleve), prescription of course; the doctor also gave me valium to help me get through the night. It is unclear at this point if it's the CTS or the Tenosynovitis wakening me with the pain but even with the valium I still can't sleep more than 2-3 hours without waking to the pain. I have only seen 2 doctors, two visits total, the first a general practicioner and the second an orthopedist, the orthopedist already wants to do CTS relief surgery and the surgery for the tenosynovitis. While CTS recovery can be pretty short and sweet (up to 2 months) the other can take up to a year and there is always the possibility that returning then to my current job would be a no no. I need to find something that says this could be a sudden onset from work related activities most likely from compressing key nerves while breaking boards since that activity really does send shock waves through the hands and arms.

I do wish you the best of luck with your CTS and I do highly recommend seeing an orthopedist since they specialize in these types of conditions and he/she may also recommend some sort of excercises and physical therapy; my condition came on so sudden that I am 39 years old and can't even cut my own steak without severe, radiating pain. In these 4 short months I have deteriorated so quickly that I am barely able to drive anymore, have to rely on my husband and children to do many things I can no longer do. My signature takes me 2 minutes to write and looks like I am writing with my left hand. I feel I am going crippled. This is some serious stuff so please take all the neccesary precautions and steps towards a full recovery. The orthopedist tried the steroids and said if they don't work the only option is surgery otherwise suffer serious long term consequences. From one of these diseases I have neuropathy on my right index finger which the doc says may not even be helped with the surgeries; a small price to pay compared to not being able to use my hands at all by the time I am 40.

Best of luck to you...

Old 05-04-2007, 08:06 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 682
curiousforever HB User
Re: Sudden Onset CTS? Is this possible?

It could have been building for awhile.

Is it Carpal or Cubital? I know about Cubital (ulnar) but not much about carpal - even though mine is getting worse in one arm.

I know my first 'twinges' of pain were in 98. But then not much after until 2001....then it was just 'here'. Moderate ulnar nerve in right, mild in left.

I hadn't even done computer work for a job since '97 at that point.

Crazy right?

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