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Has anyone ever been diagnosised with carpal tunnel but had a negative EMG test?

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Old 04-02-2010, 08:12 AM   #1
Gayla D
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 6
Gayla D HB User
Question Has anyone ever been diagnosised with carpal tunnel but had a negative EMG test?

Back in mid Dec. I was sent to a workers comp dr to have an EMG test for carpal tunnel. That test came back negative. I was told I should see a neurologist. On Jan 6, 2010 I went to see a neurologist and he did an EMG test of his own since I had symptoms of carpal tunnel. His test also was negative for nerve damage. He noticed that my right hand, which is the wrist that has been having unbearable pain in it, was ice cold. My left was warm. He then told me that I had Reflex Sympathic Dystrophy. He referred me to a pain care dr to have sympathic ganglion nerve block injections. So I went. I had 5 injections into my neck. These injections only lasted for 1 1/2 days. After the 5th injection my pain care dr referred me to a hand surgeon. Since the one that he referred couldn't get me in til mid March I requested another hand surgeon. This dr wanted me to have a MRI done of my right hand and wrist. When I went back in to see him he said that the report showed a worn and frayed triangular legament. He suggested to have an injection into that legament to help with the pain. I had the injection, which is suppose to last for 4 weeks. I went back to work 4 days after the injection and after 5 hrs the pain was back. I called the dr and he decided to refer me to another hand surgeon, which is the one that I was referred to to begin with. My first appt with this dr was on March 18, 2010. He showed me on the MRI where the triangular legament is and said that my ulna bone is longer than my radius bone and this could be causing the wearing of the legament. He discuss having a surgery of shortening the ulna bone. He set up another appt to come back after he took some more time to think about the surgery. That appt was April 1, 2010. In this appt he wanted to have an x-ray of the left hand and wrist to see if my ulna bone was longer in that arm too. It showed that it is. Now, he said that the pain in my right wrist shows signs of carpal tunnel and the other pain in the side of the wrist pointed toward that legament. I explained to him that I've had 2 EMG tests and both came back negative for carpal tunnel. He said that I could have carpal tunnel but test negative for it. He suggested to have an injection of cortizon and see how that does. After 5hrs my fingers are painful and stiff. This morning it's the same, just hurts more.

If anyone has carpal tunnel but was tested negative on an EMG test, please answer back to this post. I'm so confused and don't know what to tell my employer.

Last edited by Gayla D; 04-02-2010 at 08:13 AM.

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Old 04-02-2010, 09:22 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1
rahunter HB User
Re: Has anyone ever been diagnosised with carpal tunnel but had a negative EMG test?

I just got back from having the nerve study done and it was NEGATIVE. I was not expecting it. I have been in pain since Nov. 2009 and it is starting to creep up into my forearm and elbow. I have started to have swelling in my hands, wrists and forearmsl. An MRI of my neck and physical therapy was ordered.... however, I have large co-pays and really cannot afford all of this at one time. I am thinking about seeing an orthopedic doc to get their opinion. I am interested to see how others reply to this thread.

Old 04-02-2010, 03:47 PM   #3
Gayla D
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 6
Gayla D HB User
Re: Has anyone ever been diagnosised with carpal tunnel but had a negative EMG test?

Hey rahunter,

After my 1st EMG test and the workers comp dr told me a had a negative test he said that I should have an MRI done of my neck and brain. After the workers comp dr washed his hands of me, everything that I've had done has been paid through my private health insurance carrier. I know about the high co-pays especially for the specialist. I spoke with my dr today and he confirmed that he is diagnosising me with carpal tunnel.

Old 04-05-2010, 08:31 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: utah
Posts: 8
Juls45 HB User
Re: Has anyone ever been diagnosised with carpal tunnel but had a negative EMG test?

I had a negative test and it is very frustrating. They finally operated anyway and they were able to fix it.

Old 04-10-2010, 04:37 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 599
Johands333 HB UserJohands333 HB User
Re: Has anyone ever been diagnosised with carpal tunnel but had a negative EMG test?

I have tested positive twice for carpal tunnel. The reason I'm responding is that I had surgery on both hands in 2005 and then it came back. I had a cortisone shot in late 2008 and it worked for ONE day. The next day my pain was back. I had to have surgery on my right hand again last April. I had scar tissue from the first operation in the right hand. If you have to have surgery in both hands, please, please wait at least 6 months in between surgeries. You have to give your first hand a good time to heal before having the second one done. Even wait 9 months or more in between. In 2005 I waited 3 months in between and it took over a year to realize that the first hand wasn't healing anymore. Scar tissue develped because I did too much work using it.

Last edited by Johands333; 04-10-2010 at 04:38 PM.

Old 04-12-2010, 05:11 AM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4
lilstitch HB User
Re: Has anyone ever been diagnosised with carpal tunnel but had a negative EMG test?

I had the CTS surgery and then was in rehab when I was retested and my EMG turned out positive for CT again in both hands. I was sent to a physical therapist who had found my nerves/muscles were locked up. Once he worked with me, they freed up. I could not hold my hands in the right position for the EMG tests. The doctors actually had to turn my hands and hold them in the position. It had to do with pronate and supplinate. Ask your doctors about that.

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