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  • Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

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    Old 12-11-2013, 06:59 AM   #1
    Tammy916
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    Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    16 years ago I was diagnosed with cts in both hands. At the time I was 20 and had a very repetitive job. In less than a month both hands were useless and went numb to the shoulder for two weeks. The doctor I saw told me not to do that type of work. So I didn't but everyday things like cleaning and projects that I would work on were wearing at me. After I had my son 6 years ago both my hands were useless again.

    This year my right hand went numb and stayed that way for months lost feeling and started dropping things and that was it. It was time to do the surgery. The nerve test read at a nine with severe cts. No news to me I already knew it was bad.

    On Oct 28 I had my right hand done. Afterwards I felt the nerve being pinched when I moved my fingers but it felt more like the fingers were jammed. This was a couple of hours after surgery. It continued to happen as it healed and the pain to me felt like it was healing or so I thought. Two weeks after surgery I was still in pain and the wrist was swelling and use of my hand was difficult and clumsy.
    4 weeks later I had my left hand done, it was only moderate in that hand. My doctor looked at my right hand before the surgery and saw a problem but had me wait two weeks to see him.

    My left hand was healing, no major pain after a couple days, the feeling I had in my right hand was not happening to my left. 4th week into healing of right hand had become a nightmare. Anytime I reached Or I grasped anything i would get a shock to my hand automatically dropping from the shock.

    At six weeks I needed to get stitches removed from left hand and doctor asked how I was doing. I told him left hand is better than fine but my right has become useless. The wrist had become swollen and so sensitive that my shirt touching it felt like a burn.

    He felt my hand and said the scar tissue built up to much. (Remember I did say I felt the nerve being pinched the day of surgery.)
    Only option really is to do an ultrasound and a cortisone shot into the nerve. Not a pleasant option but pain for a minute doesn't bother me. He said the nerve was very sick for a long time so it will take longer to heal.

    Today is day 3. Massage therapy to help push the scar tissue down. I'm using a bag of marbles to do both hands at the same time without stressing both hands from individual massage. I will write updates about how the injection worked or didn't work.

    It seems one thing I think I should have been told, was to massage my hands after the stitches were removed.

    Last edited by Tammy916; 12-11-2013 at 07:05 AM.

     
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    Old 12-13-2013, 10:00 PM   #2
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    So it's been 5 days after the cortisone injection to the median nerve. Some of the pain has gone down with the massage therapy and bag of marbles. The pain I noticed the day of surgery was the ulner nerve. It still bothers me and can feel the snapping and pinching up to the elbow if moved wrong.

    For years my pinky fell asleep first and caused pain. But I thought it was just carpal tunnel. Now after researching the nerves and symptoms I am surprised my doctor didn't tell me about this issue. I told him it was my pinkie finger causing the pain before he did the injection.

    Any questions please ask away.

     
    Old 12-16-2013, 06:43 PM   #3
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    It has been a week since the cortisone shot. I called my Doctors office this morning and saw his hand specialist. After he read through my EMG report he said it says your carpal tunnel was mild at 4.2. Okay great but it was 9.2 someone read it wrong and transcribed it with 4 instead of 9. So he sat there very confused on why my dr did the surgery.

    He suggested I do the EMG again for the ulner nerves and to see a specialist. Gave me the wrong phone number and I made the call. I looked up the doctor and got the right number, then was told it was more than 6 weeks wait.
    I called my office back and having them do another test next week.

    I kind of get the feeling they think I'm making up the pain. Or that they think I'm going to ask for pain killers. I didn't take them after the surgeries because I didn't need them. Besides a nerve pain comes and goes it isn't a long lasting thing and the numbing isn't fixed with a pain killer.

    Am I one of those patients that the doctors don't get but once in a blue moon?

    I started seeing this doctor nearly 6 yrs ago when I tore my tendons in my knee and declined surgery. Had shots in my knees strengthened them up and cut out dairy and the tendinitis went away only after I cut out dairy. He looked at me like I had two heads but the cortisone shots weren't helping me.

     
    Old 12-24-2013, 09:15 AM   #4
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    Today I had the emg done on both hands again. 8 weeks after right hand and 4 weeks after left hand surgery. It showed slight improvement in my right hand but both still have carpal tunnel. The ulner nerve is being pinched at the elbow in both arms. He said that I have nerve damage to my right hand median nerve caused by an injury. The injury I do not know how or where it happened.

     
    Old 01-01-2014, 05:57 PM   #5
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    Smile Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tammy916 View Post
    Today I had the emg done on both hands again. 8 weeks after right hand and 4 weeks after left hand surgery. It showed slight improvement in my right hand but both still have carpal tunnel. The ulner nerve is being pinched at the elbow in both arms. He said that I have nerve damage to my right hand median nerve caused by an injury. The injury I do not know how or where it happened.
    Wow, you poor thing. Sounds like the doctors aren't really listening! I had CRS many years ago which went away of its own accord after stopping any repetitive movements. I have had bouts of it since but know as soon as it starts happening to discontinue the aggravating activity. I have had 'tennis elbow' right arm which had me in agony with severe aching and paining in my forearm muscle shoulder and all the way down to the tips of my fingers and rolling waves of numbness and tingling which was one of the most bizarre feelings I've ever had which I now know was a nerve being pinched in my neck! all of which really was an issue in my neck caused by bad computer desk ergonomics which became a work cover claim eventually. At the time I couldn't sleep because of the aching and I couldn't get my arm in a comfortable position it was he'll. a physio helped me overcome the worst of it, I had about 3 months off work, my work station was corrected and I had a gradual return to work. I had spondilitis and osteo in my neck but managed it in my jobs going forward by being aware of my posture regular breaks from my work station. I still have ongoing pain and weakness in the forearm muscle but have learned to live with it. I started a job about 4 months ago now which lasted only a month before my arms started going numb at night and I was waking up and shaking them constantly through the night to relieve the numbness. A trip to the docs showed it was many years since my last CT and he suggested a new one. I was given the report from the previous to take when I went for the new one which is when I discovered that amongst other things not only do I have spondilitis but one slightly bulging and two moderately bulging discs. Wow that's news to me and explains a lot!!! My new CT has shown further deterioration and areas where there may not only be nerve impingement but spinal cord impingement. I am on Lyrica for nerve pain 300 mgs per day which seems to have reduced the numbness at night and as I am currently away on holiday I will wait until around the 6th of Jan to get the results of the MRI I had on Xmas Eve. I have noticed since my first experience with cts my susceptibility to repetitive strain type issues is a given. I will have to watch this type of thing for the rest of my life. I have heard of great success with these types of issues with large doses of vitamin D3 including arthritis and other structural type issue, I'm taling in excess of 30,000 mgs per day. Search on internet. Anyway I hope you get that right hand to come good I think id be going for some second opinions if I were you. Good luck. Lea

     
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    Old 01-13-2014, 10:44 PM   #6
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    Today I had another cortisone shot this time into left hand median nerve. The scar tissue is so bad this is my only option for now. He said my right hand should be healed but when he thumped it, it went numb from two different spots. He wants to do a second injection of cortisone in two weeks to get rid of more scar tissue. I have been good at massage therapy with both hands but it isn't working for me.

    I did the taped up towels on both arms at night to relieve ulner nerve pain for the last two weeks with only sleepless nights and waking up to what feels like I had been doing pull ups in my sleep.

    My doctor is afraid to go back into the hand because of the scar tissue issues in having. He thinks it will only make my hands worse. I don't work outside of the home but I am an artist and use my hands for my work. Cleaning is unbearable for me before the surgery and even more so now.

    With my hands useless, I feel useless and drained.

     
    Old 01-27-2014, 10:08 AM   #7
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    Right hand has gotten worse, I shake it out often to get the numbness to go away. Today was the second cortisone shot to right hand. Every time I had the shot my hands would go numb for a couple hours. This time it felt like it was just saline. No warming feeling or slight numbing at all. Not to happy he wanted to put me on called "Lyrica" as soon as I heard that i freaked out. I'm not taking a drug that will cause severe side effects and also treats depression. I'm not depressed and my pain isn't imaginary. I asked for muscle relaxers because I injured my knee on a fall the escalators. The pain causes me to limp a bit still throwing off my body's alignment thus making muscles tighten on the other side

    I think it's time to find a new doctor

     
    Old 01-28-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    Hi Tammy,

    I just read your posts and wanted you to know that at least someone was reading and with empathy for your situation. I've had the open carpal tunnel release surgery done on both hands twice, the first in 1988 (yeah, I'm kinda old! ) after the birth of my first child, and again in 2001. Each time the right hand was done first, followed 2 weeks later by the left hand. Just telling you all this so you would know that I at least understand what it's like to have your hands going numb, the pain, the dysfunction, the feelings of not being able to do the things you need to do, etc. I didn't have all the problems post-op that you have described, but my CTS was due to a systemic inflammatory disease, not to repetitive motion. Maybe that makes a difference. I had to get on anti-inflammatory meds pronto for the ankylosing spondylitis, a type of genetically-linked arthritis, and that calmed down my median nerves for awhile (and maybe prevented scar tissue at the surgery site?) until it got bad enough to have it done again in 2001.

    As far as Lyrica, that med is used for a number of situations, primarily for nerve-related pain. It is not a first line anti-depressant. Yes, like all meds it has side effects, but you may want to give it a try, starting at a low dose, to see if it helps your hands. I would suggest doing a little research about Lyrica, and the positive outcomes as well as the side effects, and then discussing it with your doctor. I know several people who swear by it for nerve-related pain.

    Someone else mentioned about high doses of Vit D...just a caution that Vit D is one of the fat soluble vitamins, meaning that it can build up in your body and become toxic. I would caution you to only take that high a dose if your doctor says it is ok and has tested your D3 levels and they are low.

    Well, that's all I have to say for now...God bless and I wish you the best.
    I hang out on the pain management/chronic pain boards.

    ~~~LadyBassPlayer~~~

    Last edited by LadyBassPlayer; 01-28-2014 at 09:16 AM. Reason: Add Vit D info

     
    Old 01-28-2014, 11:26 PM   #9
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    Thank you. The lyrica I won't take because the nerve pain isn't what bothers me as much as the knee injury I had. My son pushed me on the escalator and my knee that the acl had been torn several times and is three times longer than it should be was badly bruised and stitches. It was December 30th. It still hurts that by mid day the right side of my body muscles are so tense from the limping. My doctor also sees me for that knee injury.

    I asked for muscle relaxers for that and he wanted to give me lyrica and said he couldn't do both. I'm not one for meds and anything that has side effects I stay away from. I am having a bunionectomy done in two weeks so I can't take Motrin and Tylenol I am allergic to so he gave me plain oxycodone. Not that I need them but if I get a he ache between now and the surgery at least I'll have something.

    He said the lyrica has to be taken everyday and causes drowsiness, dry mouth and can cause bad thoughts. I know my experience with drugs for antidepressants and it isn't good for me.

    With that the nerve pain isn't my issue, it's the numbness that occurs with simple movement. When I had the surgery the nerve pain was sudden and sharp but over quickly. I knew that was part of the healing process trying to correct itself. Now the scar tissue is pinching the nerve and the doctor went back to the nerve being sick. It's a different feeling and he thinks it will resolve itself over time. I don't do repetitive work, I haven't touched my art projects since right after the surgery. The only thing I do us basic cleaning of the house along with cooking.

    I haven't been able to use my palms down to get up without pain so I use my fists. My hand strength is really good considering. I do what I can. My doctor flipped flopped on me and knows that it didn't work for me but doesn't want to really dig into it. I feel like a guinea pig and just tossed aside because it makes no sense to him.

     
    Old 01-28-2014, 11:32 PM   #10
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    Oh, no vitamins. Only vitamin d I get is from the sun if allowing. I don't drink more than two ounces of milk per day if that because of dairy intolerance. I gave up milk and dairy after the tendinitis issues in my knees because the cortisone shots weren't working for me. Once I stopped dairy the problem went away.

     
    Old 01-29-2014, 08:12 PM   #11
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    I'm sorry that you are having such a tough time ...I know how it feels to be in pain all the time and to not be able to do things that you used to do with ease.
    Just a suggestion...you may want to ask your doc to test you serum vitamin D3 levels, especially if you are a bit older, but no matter what age, a vit D deficiency can lead to or increase pre-existing joint, muscle and bone pain. You can research this online...and if you do not get much sun or ingest dairy and other vit D fortified foods, you are at risk for a deficiency. The normal range for most labs is 30 to 70 ( not sure,of the high range number, as having too much has never been an issue for me!) But my doc said it's better to be closer to 50. Something to consider.... it's just a simple blood test.
    Best wishes and God bless,
    ~~~LadyBassPlayer~~~

     
    Old 01-30-2014, 09:56 PM   #12
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    Had the tests done rather recently. I'm 36 now everything was within normal range. I have been a human pin cushion lately. In may I found out I was allergic to almost all acrylates, glues, hair sprays, nail polish. Nickel allergy became so severe that I can't eat food cooked in a stainless steel pots, no contact of any kind even food grown in the ground.

    It is very possible that the knives used to do the surgery could have caused a reaction with the scar tissue problem. I did tell him ahead of time the severe ness of the allergy.

    I'm trying to get the scar tissue down as much as I can but it comes back just as quickly within a few days with everyday massage. If I can get myself through this one project I can't stop dreaming about I will be happy and may be able to say it will be my last masterpiece. But I doubt that will happen.

    I am glad I waited to have the surgery till now as if I would have years ago I would have been crippled at the age of 20.

     
    Old 02-01-2014, 07:52 AM   #13
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    Re: Two carpal tunnel surgeries in 4 weeks, CTS returned,

    I had both of my hands done for CTS in 2005. I had the surgeries 3 months apart and now realize it was too close together and scar tissue developed because I used my right hand too much too soon after my left hand was done. I tried several things including a cortisone shot and it helped one day and the next day back to cts. I had my right hand done again in 2009. This time I am sure that as far as surgery goes it worked. I still have weakness and I take Naprosyn for pain. However I was hoping to drive more and I went to a doctor for cold laser treatments hoping it would help with mild swelling before I went back on the naporsyn. It didn't help and in fact I think it hurt some as far as cts went. One thing I have changed and it's my diet. I'm on an anti-inflammatory diet and I lost six pounds rather quickly without trying. Six pounds of fluid....perhaps. Anyway, here's my advice that I give on this board all the time. This has helped me somewhat. Diet. Posture. Sleeping with splints. Walking for circulation. Hand strengthening exercises and hand stretching exercises. Hope you try these and hope they work. Good luck. By the way I'm in my 50s, took shorthand, sewed half of my clothes and my kids' clothes and typing caused my cts.

     
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