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Carpal Tunnel Surgery or ?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by TC, Aug 17, 2009.

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  1. TC

    TC TS Member

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    Seem to be having some pinky finger tingling and Bicep pain along with some weakness in the hand and arm. Steroids have reduced the pain but not completely eliminated it.

    Have had carpal tunnel like syndrom for years. Have managed to get along OK by wearing a wrist brace at night and occasionally when driving.

    Doctor reccomends surgery, not sure I want to risk it after all I have heard. Anybody have any experience with this? Tony
     
  2. letts

    letts TS Member

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    I have a friend who was ready for surgery. Another friend said try a Chiropactor first, mine says he can somtimes help. It worked, 5 years later and he has not needed the surgery yet. I would try that first.


    Letts
     
  3. Beretta687EELL

    Beretta687EELL Well-Known Member

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    I had both done about 20 years ago, when they still cut your wrist and part of your palm open. Much less invasive and less recovery time now. You also need to find out what is causing the inflammation and eliminate or minimize it. They didn't have braces and therapy when I had mine done. I've had no problem since the surgery. Bill Malcolm
     
  4. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to point out that the tingling in the pinky finger likely wouldn't be related to carpal tunnel syndrome. The pinky is innervated by the ulnar nerve and the median nerve goes through the carpal tunnel.

    The median nerve innervates the thumb, index, middle and the thumb-half of the ring finger and these are the ones that classically go numb with carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Small finger symptoms would likely be related to compression of the ulnar nerve at the cubital tunnel in the elbow or Guyon's canal in the wrist.

    You may very well also have carpal tunnel syndrome along with one of the other neuropathies.

    Have you had an EMG/nerve conduction study?

    Carpal tunnel release is usually very successful of relieving symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome if indeed that is the problem. The surgery is very safe without a very long recovery period.
     
  5. StonewallRacing

    StonewallRacing Well-Known Member

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    Been through all of it....

    Braces while sleeping and driving does help. Especially the screaming pains at 3:00am.... Damn that hurts!

    I did get some relief from Chiro, but tingling would come back after a few weeks, did it for several months.

    Finally had surgery done on both hands (three weeks apart) and have not looked back, that was six years ago. My hands are still weaker than when I was younger, but I do sleep at night.

    I would do the surgery all over again. (I never had pinky pain, puller may be right on that one.)

    SW
     
  6. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Have the EMG or nerve conduction study done first. That requires a good Neurologist. Rule out any issues with the C-Spine first. You may have issues with the ulnar nerve, since that usually causes sypmtoms with the two smaller fingers (pinky and ring finger). The pain in the bicep could indicate that the problem is higher up than the wrist. You may have trouble in several areas. My luck was that I couldn't have just one problem, I had several along the nerve paths. If you do have the carpal tunnel surgery, be sure that your surgeon will do the minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure. There is less recovery time involved.
     
  7. Doubles Shooter

    Doubles Shooter Member

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    I'm going on 2-1/2 years since surgery. I had both hands done at the same time. The procedure took less tham 1/2hr. Talked with the Doc and nurses the whole time. It was so bad it was really bothering my shooting and sleep. I got a bad flinch. It was like slapping my hands on a table when I pulled the trigger. Recovery was quick and I could take care of personal needs even with both hands done. Life is good now.
     
  8. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Get an EMG test. No big deal and it will answer a lot of questions. And...if you do need surgery, make SURE it's done arthroscopicaly (as mentioned before). The surgery takes 10 minutes, on a bad day.

    capvan
     
  9. DocJim

    DocJim Member

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    Some good advice here from handlepuller and others. Please be advised that you can wait TOO long for surgery. If so, all the weakness and sensory abnormalities may not come back. When I retired a few years ago (4) there was some controversy
    as to whether the traditional, open, surgery or the fiberoptic surgery was best. That may have been resolved by now, I'm not sure. JAG
     
  10. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    I personally prefer the open surgery over the endoscopic. I like being able to see the median nerve clearly, I know for sure I'm not going to cut it then.

    You may recover quicker, by a few days, with the endoscopic but I still do it the other way.

    The incision is an inch with the open procedure, not a big deal.
     
  11. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Incision with endosocopy is 1/2 inch. Went to a band-aid 1 day post-op. 1 tiny stitch. Light duty for 3 days, regular after that. It really depends on the surgeon. It's easy surgery in surgery-land, just find someone who has done it a LOT. And don't go to someone that does it in the office.

    capvan
     
  12. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    Recent studies have shown that there is no advantage and possibly a disadvantage to endoscopic carpel tunnel release surgery, which, by the way doesn't sound like your problem as has been previously mentioned.

    The surgery is perfected and is minimally invasive even without an endoscope. Make sure you go to a physician that specializes and has a good track record with hand surgery.

    Do the EMG studies first to confirm diagnosis. There are differential diagnosis for the problems you are describing so an accurate diagnosis is imperative before any definitive action.
     
  13. Bucko43

    Bucko43 Well-Known Member

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    I developed Carpal Tunnel in both hands back in 1985. I know why I got it as well. I played softball at the time and would exercise by doing push-ups off the corner of a waterbed frame. The pressure on the tunnel did me in. I could tell you a very long story here, but I'll keep it short instead.

    My brother has Carpal Tunnel, had the surgery and has hand problems to this day.

    My Mother (before she passed away) had Carpal Tunnel surgery and had 50% usage in one hand and 30% usage in the other after the surgery.

    Myself, I decided to do research on the subject instead of opting for the surgery. I found a physician in Texas that was having an 80% success ratio with his Carpal Tunnel patients giving them vitamins. The article I read did not specify how much dosage to take, but the vitamins were vitamin B6 and magnesium.

    I tried both vitamins for about 4 weeks and my hands got better. But I noticed that I was having a reaction to one of the vitamins and the dosage. So I flipped a coin and elected to stop taking the magnesium. That worked!

    To this day, I take 600 milligrams of vitamin B6 every morning and I'm good to go all day. And B6 is good for you and reduces stress anyway. The B6 strengthens the tunnel and the pain went away completely about 2 months after taking it. At one point a small child could cripple me by shaking my hand. Now I've got as much or more strength in my hands as I did when I played ball.

    Try it a for a few weeks...what can it hurt?

    Kevin
     
  14. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Just an FYI - three nerves go to the hand: radial, median, and ulnar.

    The general rule is radial goes to thumb, ulnar to pinky, median to index finger. The rest depends on your physiology.

    The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel so one would expect numbness of the index and probably the middle fingers with carpal tunnel syndrome. Numbness of the thumb or pinky suggests something else...
     
  15. TC

    TC TS Member

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    Thanks for all the input. Had the EMG nerve conduction study done several weeks ago. I just don't feel real good about surgery, would like to know what alternatives there are. Would like to get my hand and arm strength back.
     
  16. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    I guess I just believe in the surgery TC, like we say "cold steel is the best deal!"

    Just kind of a surgeon's joke, but people really do seem to do well.

    Anyway, splinting at night, regular use of anti-inflammatory medication (naprosyn, ibuprofen, etc.) and possibly steroid injection are also some things to try.

    Don't have any experiences with high doses of vitamin b or things like that.
     
  17. MAL-53

    MAL-53 Member

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    TC, Have the surgery. if that`s what the tests show,I had my Right hand done 12-08. My doctor went through my palm, 1/2" slit, can barely even see the scar. hand feels,works great,right back up to snuff.
    Once in a while i`ll feel a slight soreness in the hand, but otherwise i am very pleased.no regrets. breakemall, ML
     
  18. mshep

    mshep TS Member

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    TC, I suffered from Carpal in both hands for 4 or 5 years. Kept putting it off on doing anything, wore the splints every night on both and didn't help in the long run. Last year I did the conduction test and they recommended surgery. Simple procedure. I had the option of full Anasthesia or a local. I chose the local. Took longer to fill out the paperwork then it did for the surgery. I watched the clock in the OR the first time. 8 minutes. 4 weeks later had the other hand done. Each a small incision at the base of the palm, right in the crease, don't even see the scar. No pain killers needed afterwards. The biggest PIA was learning how to do everything one handed for a week. Hand strength is up to where it was. Be sure to follow the therapy and you'll be good as new.
     
  19. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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    Does it ever just get better on its own? Seems the wrist brace just made mine worse. Some days, and nights, are worse than others. Seems to be migrating from wrist to hand? Ray
     
  20. bkms

    bkms Member

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    TC, i was diagnosed with carpal tunnel around 2000. I wouldnt have the surgery and have lived with it. But at one time, i worked out at the gym trying to lose weight for a year and my carpal went away after exercising with weights not long after i started. Why, i dunno. Once i got back to my laziness it reappeared. Mine seems to flare real bad at nite cause i sleep on my shoulder.
     
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