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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Carpal Tunnel

Anyone have carpal tunnel and get the surgery for it?? I need to get a carpal tunnel release AND a De Quervain's Release in my left hand and I'm curious how the recovery was and if it really did cure the pain. My doctor said recovery is 4-6 weeks without lifting more than 5 pounds, and with an infant I'm not sure sure how I'm going to pull that off. That said, the pain is damn near unbearable and I don't think I can wait. I'm also not sure I can be out of work for 4 weeks. I can type one-handed and mouse with my right hand, so is working really out of the question?
I tried cortisone injections and they didn't work.

Thanks
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 03:38 PM
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Did you consider accupuncture? I talked with a couple people that swear by it.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 04:00 PM
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 04:02 PM
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I used to work with a girl who had to have that done on both hands, and she was out of work for 6 months, since they can't do both hands at once (otherwise you can't do anything). It was successful for her, but it's a long path to recover.

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_ag View Post
Anyone have carpal tunnel and get the surgery for it?? I need to get a carpal tunnel release AND a De Quervain's Release in my left hand and I'm curious how the recovery was and if it really did cure the pain. My doctor said recovery is 4-6 weeks without lifting more than 5 pounds, and with an infant I'm not sure sure how I'm going to pull that off. That said, the pain is damn near unbearable and I don't think I can wait. I'm also not sure I can be out of work for 4 weeks. I can type one-handed and mouse with my right hand, so is working really out of the question?
I tried cortisone injections and they didn't work.

Thanks
A little too tippy-tappy on the blackberry with that thumb, huh?

A few of my clients have done the carpal tunnel surgery; they said that it provided release at the time but had never considered other methods before surgery. All of them were in fields that required use of their hands and weren't completely able to follow the recovery restrictions. None have needed the DeQuervain's release.

I'd suggest alternate routes before you go and get surgery that could start developing restrictive scar tissue in that area.

Do you know what's causing it? Fix that, first. Stretching (I'm serious, it makes a difference- Bikram doesn't focus on that area in ANY WAY.), acupuncture, massage therapy. Not fluffy nice massages, either. It should hurt, and if it doesn't hurt then they're not doing it right. That's if it's muscular and not related to any of the other conditions, I mean. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has LOTS of causes, but if it's something that you can fix just by changing one or two daily habits, why not go that route?

eek, just noticed that you already had the injections. Ouch, that must suck.

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 04:09 PM
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carpal tunnel syndrome is often triggered by pregnancy and while most patients improve following delivery there can be persistent symptoms for quite some time after delivery. dequervains is incredibly painful - i suppose if it does not respond to cortisone injection and bracing then surgery has to be considered. most patients recuperate from this surgery in 4 to 6 weeks. harder to say with carpal tunnel release surgery as it depends on how ticked off the nerve is that is compressed in the carpal tunnel.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 04:20 PM
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^^^ what he said

Connie has both as well

Not sure about the pregnancy being the cause, I thought it was the repetetive picking up of the baby that did it (perhaps that's what you meant Eric and I misread)
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 04:25 PM
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^^^ what he said

Connie has both as well

Not sure about the pregnancy being the cause, I thought it was the repetetive picking up of the baby that did it (perhaps that's what you meant Eric and I misread)
+1

right you got it. just drop the baby when you feel the pain because that puts too much tension on the tendon and the nerve. i agree..very simple concept here-duh. connie has BOTH too?? wow. perhaps greg should be doing some of the picking up of the baby...and then connie can do more of the laundering and cooking and....
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 04:29 PM
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A little too tippy-tappy on the blackberry with that thumb, huh?

A few of my clients have done the carpal tunnel surgery; they said that it provided release at the time but had never considered other methods before surgery. All of them were in fields that required use of their hands and weren't completely able to follow the recovery restrictions. None have needed the DeQuervain's release.

I'd suggest alternate routes before you go and get surgery that could start developing restrictive scar tissue in that area.

Do you know what's causing it? Fix that, first. Stretching (I'm serious, it makes a difference- Bikram doesn't focus on that area in ANY WAY.), acupuncture, massage therapy. Not fluffy nice massages, either. It should hurt, and if it doesn't hurt then they're not doing it right. That's if it's muscular and not related to any of the other conditions, I mean. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has LOTS of causes, but if it's something that you can fix just by changing one or two daily habits, why not go that route?

eek, just noticed that you already had the injections. Ouch, that must suck.
+1 kung fu wise. one problem with medicine is that there is too much dogma and arrogance in it. there ARE other ways to approach disease treatment that have been around for thousands of years. carpal tunnel stretching exercises are not used enough. acupuncture can relieve alot of nerve related symptoms. surgery as steph says can "fix" the problem but then there is always scarring that has to occur as one heals from surgery that can restrict the free movement of tendons and nerves, in this case, going into the future.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 04:33 PM
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Re: Carpal Tunnel

Might want to get a second opinion if the doc wants to do the surgery before the kids walking.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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The de quervain's hurts me way worse than the carpal tunnel, but I do have both. I did get an electrical nerve study done by a neurologist to confirm the damage to both areas. The brace has somewhat ameliorated the pressure on the carpal tunnel nerve, but it seemed to simultaneously make the de quervain's pain worse.

Handling Lucy definitely hurts, but it's not the cause, at least not in my ortho doctor's opinion. And he's the Spurs' ortho guy, so he must be right Anyway...he said this can be brought on by pregnacy swelling and/or post c-section swelling (both of which I had). Both doctors told me that at this point (8+ weeks postpartum, and I'm at 11) if it were going to go away from reduced swelling, it would've already happened. And yes, Steph, I do believe that the BB didn't help, either. I used it a lot in the first few weeks to keep myself awake during those long late night nrsing sessions, and to share the news of Lucy's arrival. That trackball is a beotch! Nursing hasn't helped either-- you do it all damn day, it seems, and I'm constantly using my hands to aid her feeding.

I have not tried acupuncture...and thanks, that's good idea. My ortho was really open to me exploring other options to alleviate the pain since it's obviously going to be very difficult for me to work surgery into my calendar. Even if I wait until she's walking, she'll still need changes and the occasional "holy crap donjt do that!" swoop up from the ground....so if I want for a good time it might be when she's 10! If I can get my mom to come for 4 weeks, perhaps a good time to do it is once I've stopped breastfeeding.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 05:02 PM
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The de quervain's hurts me way worse than the carpal tunnel, but I do have both. I did get an electrical nerve study done by a neurologist to confirm the damage to both areas. The brace has somewhat ameliorated the pressure on the carpal tunnel nerve, but it seemed to simultaneously make the de quervain's pain worse.

Handling Lucy definitely hurts, but it's not the cause, at least not in my ortho doctor's opinion. And he's the Spurs' ortho guy, so he must be right Anyway...he said this can be brought on by pregnacy swelling and/or post c-section swelling (both of which I had). Both doctors told me that at this point (8+ weeks postpartum, and I'm at 11) if it were going to go away from reduced swelling, it would've already happened. And yes, Steph, I do believe that the BB didn't help, either. I used it a lot in the first few weeks to keep myself awake during those long late night nrsing sessions, and to share the news of Lucy's arrival. That trackball is a beotch!

I have not tried acupuncture...and thanks, that's good idea. My ortho was really open to me exploring other options to alleviate the pain since it's obviously going to be very difficult for me to work surgery into my calendar.

Connie has been in horrible pain but the hand specialists basically want to try everything before surgery (she goes to Northwestern where another one of the posters here works)

She finally broke down and started getting Cortisone shots - she fought it for a long time .. They seem to help her quite a bit

She also had custom braces made at the dr - they look like melted plastic was wrapped around her wrists to fit her perfectly

oh and she has a blackberry too.. I keep telling her to get an iphone but she's stubborn
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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By the way, these are the two procedures. This doctor is pretty awesome; he's really given me a lot of detailed info and has been helping in finding me non-surgical options. I obviously had to stop seeing his as I just moved, but I can go back there to get the surgery done if need be.

http://www.saspine.com/endoscopic-ca...l-release.html
http://www.saspine.com/de-quervains-release.html
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+1 kung fu wise. one problem with medicine is that there is too much dogma and arrogance in it. there ARE other ways to approach disease treatment that have been around for thousands of years. carpal tunnel stretching exercises are not used enough. acupuncture can relieve alot of nerve related symptoms. surgery as steph says can "fix" the problem but then there is always scarring that has to occur as one heals from surgery that can restrict the free movement of tendons and nerves, in this case, going into the future.

So eating bear balls will cure my infertility?
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 05:16 PM
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Re: Carpal Tunnel

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So eating bear balls will cure my infertility?

No. You're gonna want ground up Rhino horn for that. Failing that eat just about anything phallic shaped the more endangered the better. That'll fix you right up.
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 06:43 PM
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I didn't read all of the above replies.

I've had Carpal Tunnel surgery on both wrist. Mine was bad enough that both hands would lose feeling while driving. Not real cool. The pain to the elbow and shoulder were bad too.

I got the first one (left) done in Mar '03 and it took about 6-8 weeks to get full strength back. I also had the tendons scraped inside the hand and up the arm to clear up scar tissue, so mine was not the ideal scenario. Physical therapy and exercise worked wonders.

The second one (right) done in Aug '03 and it took about 3-4 weeks to fully recover. A lot less issues internally. This was a bummer because my physical therapist was a major hottie, and the hand massages did wonders. Oh...back on topic, sorry.

I haven't had one single problem with either wrist since they've been done, and you'd be hard pressed to even find the scar. He followed the natural crease lines in the palm of my hand. Awesome.

Have you had the nerve conduction study done yet? Have you tried changing the motions you're doing, or the way you do things? I think it was mentioned above. Have you tried sleeping in wrist braces yet? I did that for two months, but it didn't help much. I also wore braces 24/7 for almost 2 months except for showers and stuff. No help either.

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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 08:46 PM
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And yes, Steph, I do believe that the BB didn't help, either. I used it a lot in the first few weeks to keep myself awake during those long late night nrsing sessions, and to share the news of Lucy's arrival. That trackball is a beotch!
I really wasn't being bitchy when I mentioned the blackberry, DeQuervain's is also known as "washerwoman's thumb" and more recently, "crackberry thumb". Usually with such issues, physical therapy is also a great option before going the surgery route, and it might be covered by your insurance since it's a diagnosed issue. I know it was mentioned before.

Repetitive use injuries are extremely common for people who sit at a computer and type all day. While wrist bracing will help the pain by restricting movement, it will not solve underlying pain issue if it's a nerve impingement due to hypertension of the flexor muscles of the forearm.

P.S. Lucy's cute, no wonder you were sending tons of pics via crackberry!

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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 09:27 PM
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So eating bear balls will cure my infertility?
i already told you its never going to grow back no matter what you do


Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_ag View Post
The de quervain's hurts me way worse than the carpal tunnel, but I do have both. I did get an electrical nerve study done by a neurologist to confirm the damage to both areas. The brace has somewhat ameliorated the pressure on the carpal tunnel nerve, but it seemed to simultaneously make the de quervain's pain worse.

Handling Lucy definitely hurts, but it's not the cause, at least not in my ortho doctor's opinion. And he's the Spurs' ortho guy, so he must be right Anyway...he said this can be brought on by pregnacy swelling and/or post c-section swelling (both of which I had). Both doctors told me that at this point (8+ weeks postpartum, and I'm at 11) if it were going to go away from reduced swelling, it would've already happened. And yes, Steph, I do believe that the BB didn't help, either. I used it a lot in the first few weeks to keep myself awake during those long late night nrsing sessions, and to share the news of Lucy's arrival. That trackball is a beotch! Nursing hasn't helped either-- you do it all damn day, it seems, and I'm constantly using my hands to aid her feeding.

I have not tried acupuncture...and thanks, that's good idea. My ortho was really open to me exploring other options to alleviate the pain since it's obviously going to be very difficult for me to work surgery into my calendar. Even if I wait until she's walking, she'll still need changes and the occasional "holy crap donjt do that!" swoop up from the ground....so if I want for a good time it might be when she's 10! If I can get my mom to come for 4 weeks, perhaps a good time to do it is once I've stopped breastfeeding.
sounds like you're in great "hands" with the hand specialist you were seeing. most importantly is this your throttle hand? typically the median nerve swelling trying to get through the carpal tunnel resolves within 3 months of delivery. i have seen small studies of patients who continue to have carpal tunnel and deq's tendonitis further into the postpartum period up to a year felt related to the activities of childcare with the position your thumb is in to allow for nursing. there is also thought that the hormonal changes that persist into the nursing period allow the tendon inflammation to persist and some studies have seen improvement following weaning. im surprised/disappointed the cortisone injection did not help at all.

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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Have you had the nerve conduction study done yet? Have you tried changing the motions you're doing, or the way you do things? I think it was mentioned above. Have you tried sleeping in wrist braces yet? I did that for two months, but it didn't help much. I also wore braces 24/7 for almost 2 months except for showers and stuff. No help either.

Good Luck! :
Yes to all. The study was freaking cool! Unfortunately, it just confirmed what the first doctor sent me there for. Interesting thing I learned there, though, is that mine is a "mild" case. I asked why, then, it hurt so damn bad and he said when it's mild the nerve still can feel pain. Once it's progressed many patients are just totally numb. Yikes!
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Yes to all. The study was freaking cool! Unfortunately, it just confirmed what the first doctor sent me there for. Interesting thing I learned there, though, is that mine is a "mild" case. I asked why, then, it hurt so damn bad and he said when it's mild the nerve still can feel pain. Once it's progressed many patients are just totally numb. Yikes!
Be very careful as it progresses
Connie has dropped a # of things, she just loses all strength and drops whatever is in her hands - it scares the living shit out of me

I know you have a little one, always make sure you have some other way of grabbing her or clutching her if your wrists give out
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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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im surprised/disappointed the cortisone injection did not help at all.
It helped somewhat with the carpal tunnel. Then a few weeks later I got one for the de quervain's and it helped but only for a day or two.

I suppose I could wait it out til month 3, or until I wean her, and see if any hormone-related causes are resolved. Weaning her is a whole other can of worms I'm struggling with right now; not sure when it will happen.
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Be very careful as it progresses
Connie has dropped a # of things, she just loses all strength and drops whatever is in her hands - it scares the living shit out of me

I know you have a little one, always make sure you have some other way of grabbing her or clutching her if your wrists give out
I used to do that with sodas and coffee. It really sucked when I was wearing my Whites (Navy) and it splashed on me. I'm soooo glad those days are over.

Alison: I've had the nerve test done 3 times for various things. It's cool, but the 2nd/3rd time loses some of the coolness.

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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 12:55 PM
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The study was freaking cool!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_ag View Post
It helped somewhat with the carpal tunnel. Then a few weeks later I got one for the de quervain's and it helped but only for a day or two.

I suppose I could wait it out til month 3, or until I wean her, and see if any hormone-related causes are resolved. Weaning her is a whole other can of worms I'm struggling with right now; not sure when it will happen.
well...you're the one who is suffering with the pain and so you're the boss when it comes to deciding enough is enough. i gather your emg/ncv testing did not show permanent nerve damage so there is still time here to try to wait this out. seems wisest to wait things out into the postpartum period a bit longer +/- even further -> weaning if that would ultimately cure the problem for you.

this is from a very reputable source (Cochrane database): the odd thing is that 100% of the patients in this study with deq's responded to steroid injection - there is another study that suggests trying a second one.

MAIN RESULTS: We found one controlled clinical trial of 18 participants (all pregnant or lactating women) that compared one steroid injection with methylprednisolone and bupivacaine to splinting with a thumb spica. All patients in the steroid injection group (9/9) achieved complete relief of pain whereas none of the patients in the thumb spica group (0/9) had complete relief of pain, one to six days after intervention (number needed to treat to benefit (NNTB) = 1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8 to 1.2). No side effects or local complications of steroid injection were noted. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of corticosteroid injections for de Quervain's tenosynovitis has been studied in only one small controlled clinical trial, which found steroid injections to be superior to thumb spica splinting. However, the applicability of our findings to daily clinical practice is limited, as they are based on only one trial with a small number of included participants, the methodological quality was poor and only pregnant and lactating women participated in the study. No adverse effects were observed.
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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 04:10 PM
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I suggest we create a Forum dedicated to ninjaeric so we can get free diagnoses for out health ailments and/or worries.

Admin?
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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dub shih View Post
I suggest we create a Forum dedicated to ninjaeric so we can get free diagnoses for out health ailments and/or worries.

Admin?
The subject "Why does it burn when I pee" has been discussed extensively

Cause - CLSB relationships
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post #26 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 04:39 PM
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^ lol that will be the response for all health ailments... i guess a dedicated forum isn't necessary
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post #27 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 05:03 PM
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I had both hands done with the endoscopic procedure and three weeks apart. By far the best surgery ever in terms of recovery. DR.Nagle at northwestern and another doctor perfected the endo method so he was my first choice.
went back to work wrenching on cars in 9 weeks after the second hand. so far so good after 3.5 years!!

don't wait to get it done since the damage WILL get worse and you will loose muscle and recovery can take longer.
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post #28 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
pfft.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjaeric View Post
the odd thing is that 100% of the patients in this study with deq's responded to steroid injection - there is another study that suggests trying a second one.
Then I might give my doc a call and see what he thinks about administering another one next month when I'm back in SA, or perhaps recommending a doc local to me here in Houston.
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post #29 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 08:11 AM
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So no hand jobs for awhile huh!

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post #30 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 08:30 AM
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So no hand jobs for awhile huh!
They only do one hand at a time.

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