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RichKrough
12-17-2010, 09:45 AM
I have been having problems for the last couple of years with finger numbness and tingling in my right hand. I have compensated by using my left hand for most repetitive tasks such as painting and sanding . However the past few months it has gotten to where I am having a problem with my grip making it difficult to shoot a gun or write. I finally went to the doctor 2 weeks ago and got the diagnosis and the tests. I'm getting the surgery on Monday.

Anyone else here have Carpal Tunnel surgery? what was the recovery time for you?

Mrleft8
12-17-2010, 09:55 AM
Did he offer the option of wearing a brace?

Canoez
12-17-2010, 10:05 AM
Have they tried cortisone or other anti-inflammatory medications?

I know that some of my co-workers who have had carpal-tunnel surgery complained that they had a significant loss of grip strength after the surgery. As I understand it, a band of muscle or tendon in the carpal tunnel is cut to relieve the pressure on the tendons that causes them to be inflamed. It seems to me to be a fairly extreme solution and I'd talk to several different doctors to see what they had to say before thinking of going ahead with surgery.

David G
12-17-2010, 10:14 AM
Agreed... surgery is a last resort. I had carpal tunnel in both wrists... and tendinitis in both elbows. It took me over a year to get rid of it, but managed to do so without surgery. The approach that worked was twice a week visits to a chiropractor that specialized in the extremities (as opposed to a back specialist). He used a combination of a small bit of joint manipulation, revised diet and added vitamins, electro-stimulation, deep tissue massage (I mean DEEP... this was quite painful), some sort of topical creme (an herbal version of Ben-Gay was how I thought of it), and as much rest as I could afford myself.

During that time, my MD referred me to a surgeon, who told me that surgery was the only sure answer. Maybe so, but I also started collecting stories. Way too many of those who chose surgery regretted it.

RichKrough
12-17-2010, 10:56 AM
I have been on anti-inflammatory medicine for quite awhile with not much relief. I also been using a brace since last may. The brace certainly helps but gets in the way of a lot of tasks and it hasn't helped with the loss of grip. I use it mostly at home and when driving.

The Orthopedist feels that I'm pretty far gone. The surgery seems worth the risk at this point. He says I likely won't ever regain my grip 100% but it should improve significantly over what it is now and will most certainly ease the pain.

What concerns me more is the recovery and rehab. I didn't schedule anything for January and February so that gives about 10 weeks but I hear of wildly varying rehab times from 4 weeks to 6 months or more.

S.V. Airlie
12-17-2010, 11:00 AM
My father went through it. Seems to be a common thing. Rehab was relatively easy.. A quick in and out in surgery. Just follow instructions for the rehab..

Good luck!

SamSam
12-17-2010, 02:00 PM
I had it severely in both wrists about 25 years ago. It would wake me up and I'd have to windmill my arms around to stop the pain, it would take an hour or so in the morning to warmup before I would be able to grip anything very well.

I had both wrists done at one time under local anesthetics (because I had mistakenly eaten breakfast and they couldn't put me under). The dressing was around the wrist and the base of the thumb and there was no problem functioning while healing with eating, going to the bathroom, etc. I had messed around with a guitar for years, about a week after the surgery with the bandages still on I tried playing. My fingers were much more nimble and I was able to play much better than I ever had before. (Which isn't to say much)

I was back to doing pretty much everything after a few weeks. There was sensitivity to jambing and forcing things with the palms that lasted for a few months, but doing that is damaging to those nerves regardless.

The problems have never reoccurred.

Ron Carter
12-18-2010, 11:00 AM
What concerns me more is the recovery and rehab. I didn't schedule anything for January and February so that gives about 10 weeks but I hear of wildly varying rehab times from 4 weeks to 6 months or more.

Just had both wrists done this past summer. The right was combined with 2 trigger finger repairs and the left with a thumb joint rebuild. The carpel tunnel recovery was 10 days total immobility followed by 4 weeks in a traditional brace for ordinary activity with a 10# weight limit. Relief of the carpel tunnel symptoms was immediate. I'm still recovering my grip strength. Rehab was straight forward and uneventful. I also wore braces and had injections with limited and decreasing effectiveness. The neurologist who did the EMG said I had permanent dammage on the right wrist but the recovery is 100% for the symptoms. Grip is recovering slowly as I keep active in the shop. Sounds like you are ready to do it.

David W Pratt
12-18-2010, 01:18 PM
My suggestion is to contact local, or distant, philharmonic orchestra and ask for the name of their hand surgeon.
He'll be good and commmitted to preserving function.
Good luck.

Dave Gray
12-18-2010, 02:31 PM
I've been wondering about this. I have given up riding a bicycle because of numbness in my left hand. I've pretty much stopped playing guitar because my fingers feel like sausages afterwards and I get shooting pain in different spots on my left forearm. Same thing happens if I hold anything for long periods of time while wood working.

It sounds like a combination of carpal tunnel and tendinitis. My doctor discussed surgery and will recommend me to a surgeon however I have an antipathy to needles, blades, and anything that will cut me open unless there is no other recourse. I may get there but am hoping a hiatus from activity will help.

Tristan
12-18-2010, 03:11 PM
There are non surgical options that one might try, including working with a massage therapist who specializes in trigger point therapy, and various yoga exercises.

Bill R
12-18-2010, 04:00 PM
I had the carpal tunnel done on one hand after all non-invasive therapies failed.. My surgeon was both a musician and a luthier as well, so he knew what was at stake. He had also had the surgery on both of his hands.

I was released to "normal" use in about 4 weeks, with the understanding that if it hurt, STOP. At about 8 weeks, I was fairly normal, except for shaking hands with someone if they had a strong grip. That was painful for months.

I only recovered about 85-90% of my strength in that hand, and to this day still have issues with occasional pain and numbness. However, my carpal tunnel was caused by blunt trauma (hand was hit and squashed) rather than repetitive motion. The doctors believe that the lingering problems are due to nerve damage.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
12-18-2010, 05:21 PM
I really have no advise but wish you the best of luck Rich.
I can't believe I never developed carpal tunnel.
Twenty five years as a furniture mover and ten more as an automotive assembly line worker.
Worked with power tools just about every day, all day.
I've had numbness and tingling of the hands recently, but it was caused by my Diabeties.
My grip on everthing but reality is still good.

ishmael
12-18-2010, 07:10 PM
Best of luck, Rich.

I've never had carpal tunnel, which as I understand it is caused by fairly light repetitive action. I did have a sore right wrist one summer. I was on a crew building one of those pre-fab log homes. Getting those walls up was a misery on wheels.

They were stuck together with some goo and pole barn spikes. A sixteen ounce hammer wasn't heavy enough to drive the spikes, and the twenty ounce didn't agree with my right wrist. It was very hot and humid that summer, to boot. Not my favorite summer banging nails.

As said here, check out some options. If you decide on the surgery, I'm sure it will work out fine.

Jack

RichKrough
12-19-2010, 12:01 AM
Thanks for the replies and encouragement, I'm looking forward to getting this done next week. Right hand and wrist have been hurting like hell the last couple of weeks!

Funny when I was younger and indestructible I used to think Carpal Tunnel Syndrone was one of those made up conditions that Government workers claimed to have so they could go out on comp or get a disability check for . :o

Paul Girouard
12-19-2010, 12:10 AM
Funny when I was younger and indestructible I used to think Carpal Tunnel Syndrone was one of those made up conditions that Government workers claimed to have so they could go out on comp or get a disability check for .



I remember a FHB article that indicated that was / is the case. They claimed all one needed to recover was to rest the joint. Of course they didn't explain how one would feed their self while resting the joint.

Good luck with the procedure and recovery.

Follow the Doc's post op instructions , I think most men have issues with that thinking " I can take this pain" which of course slows or limits the recovery.

That might include no posting on WBF durning that recovery period. Which I'm sure will be hard to do when you're sitting around bored stiff.

bobbys
12-19-2010, 04:15 AM
I lose feelings in my right hand and go to my chiro practor and he fixes me right up.

Not saying this could fix you i dunno just about me.

RichKrough
12-20-2010, 11:26 PM
I had the surgery early this morning. I got a local anesthesia and watched him make a 1/2 " inch incision ,insert the arthoscope and snip the ligament. I was home by noon

Just a small bandage and a big plastic splint for the next week. Then a couple weeks of therapy. The tingling and numbness is already gone. Incision is a little sore.

Michael D. Storey
12-20-2010, 11:30 PM
Here in Baltimore I have heard it referred to as Harbor Tunnel Syndrome

John Smith
12-20-2010, 11:55 PM
I had both wrists done. Second time with a local. My mom had it done. A bit like knee surgery in that everyone's case is a little different.

Ed Harrow
12-21-2010, 12:04 AM
Seemingly less common, and difficult to diagnose, radial tunnel syndrome. I'm on my second (or is it third, first time I had it in both arms) go round. I'm hoping I can get away without resorting to PT this time - it's certainly not as bad as I had it the first time. Similar general symptoms, closer to the elbow but it effects things like grip, too.

Hope you're good as new in no time.

SamSam
12-26-2010, 03:57 PM
I had the surgery early this morning. I got a local anesthesia and watched him make a 1/2 " inch incision ,insert the arthoscope and snip the ligament. I was home by noon

Just a small bandage and a big plastic splint for the next week. Then a couple weeks of therapy. The tingling and numbness is already gone. Incision is a little sore.This seems appropriate! Y>