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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

  • Carpal Tunnel Surgery and RSD

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    Old 05-24-2003, 01:39 PM   #1
    PANZIGIRL36
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    Post Carpal Tunnel Surgery and RSD

    Hello, I am New to this board. I am searching for information on the incidents of RSD after Carpal Tunnel surgery. I have RSD in my right knee after a very traumatic snow skiing accident injury. I have had 3 surgeries on the knee and have had RSD for just over 2 years. I had Carpal Tunnel, mildly, for years, with minimal symptoms. After being on crutches and having to use my upper body so much, the carpal tunnel has advanced to "Severe Bilaterally". My hand surgeon said I may already have permanent damage, based on the NCS test results. He said my only treatment option is surgery. I have read literature and information stating that RSD can spread to other extremeties. My pain management doctor told me I should avoid surgery because I am at very high risk of developing RSD after surgery. I am wondering if there is anyone who has experienced RSD after carpal tunnel surgery or If anyone may be educated on this specific situation who can give me some input. I am confused and don't know what to do. I could end up crippled in my hands if I don't have surgery. On the other hand, If I do have surgery, I may end up with RSD which is debilitating also. Hummm, doesn't sound to promising to me. What should I do??? Thanks
    Panzi

     
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    Old 05-24-2003, 04:58 PM   #2
    stickgirl
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    I have RSd in my Ulnar Nerve due to Ulnar Nerve Transposition. My nerve conduction test showed mild cp but worse yet was the ulnar nerve pincing at the elbow(Cubital Tunnel). As a result of my surgery I have no use really of my right arm, the pain is much more severe in Nerve's. I can use my tumb and first finger, the middle is very stiff. When this developed, I would not move my arm, just small movements set the zaps so high all I could do was cry. I kept my fingers/hand/arm clutched to my chest. My elbow/wrist/finger joints all froze. Since my Dr has been doing manipulations monthly to break up scar tissue. I am gaing the use of my elbow, and the thumb/first finger. I hope I am making sense, if not its due to the pain. I'v had a rough week.

    I did not do the surgery right away, we tried therpy for several yrs of and on. I'd get a lil better and go back to work, light duty. The pinching got worse until I had no choice. I wonder if I would have done the surgery first, would this have happened. We don't know, never will. Lucky for me I have excelent Dr's that do everything possible for me.

    Have you ever had a Micro-Z, it is similar to a tens but better for this problem. I was to have this surgery on my right arm, then my left. I am not having it on my left now. My Therapist got me this Micro-z, it is not a crue all. But helps keep my left going. It is a glove and sleeve that is hooked to a small thing that is wrapped around my arm. It sends electrical current all thru the glove/sleeve. I could not go without it now. I have to use my left arm for everything, this saves me.

    I also have been told that RSD can spread due to surgery from my Dr's. I have talked to others that say no, that they have had surgery and not a problem. Have you checked with rsds organization. There real helpful with Stats on things like that.

    Good Luck and welcome everyone here is very helpful.

    Stickgirl

    [This message has been edited by stickgirl (edited 05-24-2003).]

     
    Old 05-24-2003, 06:24 PM   #3
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    Hi Panzi

    You sound like you are in a very difficult situation right now. This will proboly be a very hard decision to make. I have crps in my hand that is all the way up into my neck right now and starting in legs. I had to make a decision if I wanted to get the spinal cord stimulator implantation and I have read so many times about surgery and it spreading I did not know what to do.

    I took the chance and had the surgery. So now I have 5 new incision scars and thankfully so far so good. I know you are in a situation that your darn if you do and darn if you don't.

    I hope everything works out for you no matter which road you decide to take.

    take care and let us know how you make out.

    Cattys

     
    Old 05-25-2003, 08:49 PM   #4
    PANZIGIRL36
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    Thank You "Stickgirl" and "Cattys". I greatly appreciate you sharing with me. "Stickgirl", sounds like you are in quite a difficult situation too. I have not heard of the Micro-Z yet, but I plan to ask my therapist and dr. about it. So far, I have not lost any function of my hands but I am feeling some suttle changes already. I can relate to your stiff arm. And I sure feel for you!! I walked around with a frozen stiff leg for almost 2 years. I was misdiagnosed after my first two knee surgeries. I had a 3rd surgery in Dec. and can now bend my knee. YEAH!! But it is very painful still. "Cattys", my pain managment dr. wants me to try the spinal cord stimulator also. I have read so much information about it and I don't feel the benefits are worth the risk and complication potentials for me. I am taking M.S. Contin 3 times a day along with I.R. when needed, with adequate control for now. I hope you have good results with the SCS and don't have any complications. I admire you for going through with it. I think I read your posting about the SCS and it sounded pretty intense. I don't have anyone around to help me out if I were to get one put it. I am all alone in my journey, for now. My boyfriend is due home for good in July. I can't wait. I just hope he can deal with all this mess. It will be a big test for our relationship. Anyway, I will certainly check the RSD assoc. web site again and look for some statitics. I have read alot of postings and it seems to be a very friendly and helpful environment here. Thanks again for your time and information. Take Care, Panzi

     
    Old 05-26-2003, 10:57 AM   #5
    Soxy
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    Panzigirl,
    Just wanted to say welcome to the board. You are in a tough situation right now, to say the least. You will find a lot of support here and a lot of caring people. This board has been a god send for me. Take care. I know you will do what is best for you.
    Soxy

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    Old 05-26-2003, 01:26 PM   #6
    PANZIGIRL36
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    Hello "Soxy" thank you for welcoming me and sharing with me. I am starting to feel a connection here, I finally feel like I am not alone in this world with my situation. Thanks!!!

    "Soxy", I think this board may end up being a God send for me too. Did I read a posting of yours that said you had the Spinal Cord Stimulator recently placed?? If so, how's it working for you? My main question is, did you definately need someone around to help you out and for how long?? Also, what percentage of relief would you say you get??I have decided against it for now, but may need to resort to it in the future if my pain meds quit working. Thank you, hope you are having a good day. I definately believe in Miracles!!! Thanks, Panzi

    I can certainly feel the warmth and comfort after reading all the postings and getting familiar with people's situations. My heart goes out to each person. I feel so fortunate that my RSD is a "Mild" case compared to most people here. But I still have lots of concerns and questions. I was wondering if you could explain what a "Ulnar nerve transposition" is. Is it similar or the same as a carpal tunnel release?? When you say your injury was "too far gone" what exactly does that mean?? I am so glad to hear that your "left side" surgery has gone so well and that the RSD has not spread there. I bet it feels so great to use that arm again. I can relate, now that I can walk normal again. I don't have to use crutches anymore. YEAH!!! I have been in rehab since Dec and still working on it. Long process. Keep working hard on your arm, it's well worth it. Hang in there!!! I don't quite understand what the "Micro-Z" does. Does it help your own nerves to conduct better?? Does it help reduce the pain and numbness/tingling?? What is the outlook for your carpal tunnel, if you don't have surgery?? Any particular reason you chose not to have surgery on that yet?? Boy, I sure had alot of questions. Sorry. Answer only if you feel like it. No pressure here. Well, take care and keep the faith. Thanks again for caring and sharing. bye bye, Panzi

    [This message has been edited by moderator2 (edited 05-26-2003).]

     
    Old 05-26-2003, 03:20 PM   #7
    stickgirl
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    The micro-z does not help my hand/arm with the RSD. It only makes mine worse, cannot handle any electricle stimulation on it. I use it on my left, to help the nerve entrapment at the elbow and ct at my wrist. It sends light electrical zaps (not sure of word to use) all thru the glove and sleve. You don't have to feel it for it to work. Kind of like a tens, much lighter zaps and all thru the glove/sleave. You spray this conduct liquid on your arm/hand then put the sleave and glove on and turn it on. It goes for 30min or you can put it on for 8 hrs, which means it will zap you for 20 min every hr. The zapping is so light you don't feel it, I sleep with it on. You turn it up until you feel it, then turn it down a notch or two. It helps keep my laft arm/hand going, I have no use of my right and need my left to last. This is the best way so far. It won't heal or even stop the pinching of my nerves, only help to stimulate them, making them feel better for the next day. My left arm is so painful at times, this helps that so much. I'd never go without it now.

    I hope we all have a less painful day

    Stickgirl



    [This message has been edited by stickgirl (edited 05-26-2003).]

     
    Old 05-27-2003, 09:00 PM   #8
    PANZIGIRL36
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    Thank you Stickgirl for taking the time to explain that to me. I understand now and plan to ask my therapist or dr. about it. Sounds like something I could use to help prolong losing the use of my hands. It's worth a try. I'm glad it helps you so much. Have a good day.
    Panzi

     
    Old 05-27-2003, 10:43 PM   #9
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    I saw that you had posted again. I'm glad yyou ablr to post now and then. Myself it seems I'm always around, not much else to do at times.

    I reread your post asking what Ulnar Transposition surgery is. The ulnar nerve runs from the baby/ring fingers up your arm. At the elbo mine are being pinched, they needed to move the nerve to the inside of my elbow to stop the pinching.

    I developed RSD plus have no feeling in those two fingers. I need to be extra careful since I can't feel them, like cutting, cooking etc. I live alone, I believe you also do. It makes it harder, and with only one arm/hand It is not easy.

    I hope you can understand my explanation, if not please ask again. At times I am not great at writing.

    I hope you have a great week.

    Stickgirl

     
    Old 05-28-2003, 07:23 AM   #10
    Soxy
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    Hi Panzigirl! I don't have the spinal stimulator. Cattys has one. You could open a topic or scan previous posts where she "talks" about it. She has given me some helpful advice and hope since I may be headed that way. I have RSD in one foot now. It started in my left and now it is in my right. The onset of RSD probably began in my back in the sciatic nerve. Some of my pals on this board have been through so much pain and agony and are still going through it. They are very brave and give me hope and strength. I think you will find the same thing. Wish I could help you more. Take care. Soxy

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    Old 06-03-2003, 11:49 AM   #11
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    Hello Panzi
    I developed RSD from carpal tunnel surgery! It doesn't always happen but can in 5% of carpal tunnel surgeries!

    I was told if i ever had further surgeries that i sould have the symapthetic system blocked?? It was explained to me as a procedure that goes through your arm pit and in to the sympathetic system to block it!!
    sounds like it would hurt! I have chosen to live with the carpal tunnel i have in the other hand!

    Good Luck and i wish you the best!
    Sue
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