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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by e rock, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. e rock

    e rock

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    Got it? Had it? Had surgery? Other treatments?

    Virtually every male in my family has had surgery to correct theirs (with varying degrees of success) and it's looking like my turn may be coming soon.

    I was out riding dirt bikes over the weekend and had both hands go completely numb from my index finger out. Usually it's just my right hand from wrenching or swinging a machete - which is job-related. 4 Advil helped, but that was by far the worst it's been.

    I know I need to see a doctor about it, especially with the work connection, but I figured some of you guys must have some experience.

    Eric
     
  2. LoveTractor

    LoveTractor

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    My mom had a wicked "case" about 4 months ago. She works for IBM and is on the computer all day long. She'd just moved here to Charleston and was using a different desk. Called me up at 11pm one night crying in pain thinking she was having a heart attack. Pain and numbness in her left hand, wrist and up through her left shoulder. I raced over and took her to the ER. They gave her an x-ray and found that some vertebrae in her neck were crushing a nerve causing the tremendous pain in her left arm. Couldn't do anything else at the ER but give her a nerve block anasthetic in her wrist. It worked. Referred her to a hand specialist the next day who put her into physical "rehab" to exercise the neck and it worked well. She just went ahead with the surgery where they cut the nerve in the lower palm near the wrist about a month ago. She hasn't complained since. I love my mommy. :D
     
  3. IDave

    IDave

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    If it is truely Carpal Tunnel syndrome, and isolated, then the pinkey and the outer half of the ring finger should pretty much be spared, since the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel, only supplies the index, middle and inside half of the ring finger.

    There is a syndrome that affects more of the whole hand that often comes from vibration activities (jackhammer operators, for instance) that can, at first glance look like carpal tunnel. It is important to differentiate the two, since treatment for CTS won't do much for the other.

    Anti-inflammatories like Advil, wrist splints that cock the wrist back, local injection with steroids, and some physical therapy techniques can help with CTS, all short of surgery, which is usually successful in clearcut cases.

    There are predisposing causes, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and amyloid infiltration that if corrected can improve the condition. It's embarrassing to do surgery and then discover these in retrospect, and realise that surgery may have not been needed.
     
  4. DSRTRDR

    DSRTRDR I can mangle anything ... SILVER Star

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    A good neurologist can pinpoint the location at which nerve conduction is interrupted or impaired, and that should be the best guide to the source of the problem. Get a second opinion before you get any surgery!
     
  5. David Clayton

    David Clayton

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    Ct

    I use wrist braces and eat Aleve when mine gets bad. It was recomended that I have the surgery by I'm scared to. I'm still able to live with it

    Some have said you loose gripping power after the surgery anyone know about this???????
     
  6. Jman

    Jman

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    I've got a couple bad disks in my neck (just like Love Tractor's mom, I guess), they make my ring finger and pinky on each hand numb when I don't do my exercises or when I do something like RIDE MY BIKE ALL FRIGGIN' DAY. Make sure that's not it--riding a bike really puts a strain on your neck, could be it. Of course, it puts a heck of a strain on your wrists, too, so yer fawked either way. :rolleyes:

    Wife had CTS when she had our second child, got a wrist brace (wore it while she slept) and gulped Advil to keep it in check. It went away after a few weeks, only came back once.

    Good luck, nerve problems suck. :mad:
     
  7. nuclearlemon

    nuclearlemon not an addict Moderator

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    i've got it, but not bad...i have the brace and was on pills for it. it sucks as night cause i also have plantar fasciiatis so both feet are in braces and one wrist...not very comfortable.
     
  8. Degnol

    Degnol

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    Dave's advice, as ususal is very right. It is a common problem in the dental field. But if you have CTS surgery for something other than CTS, you will get a less than desirable result.

    Go get a solid copper bracelet, the link kind like they sell at souvenir shops. Boil it in water to remove the lacquer, then wear it 24/7. It helped me and several other tooth monkeys I know. And it will cost you about $3-5.


    Just my experience.


    Mine was a combination of work and riding my road bike. The bike also numbed my wenis, but I could not figure out how to keep the chain on there.
    A new seat fixed that.


    GL

    Ed
     
  9. patride71

    patride71

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    wife has it and it is controlled by wearing a brace as needed.

    her mother had it pretty bad and had surgery, but surgery didn't help her much....
     
  10. Gundy

    Gundy

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    I'd have to second this. My wife has it and has had surgery.
    It's not much better and returned shortly after surgery.
    When she first begins to feel it re-occurring she dons the stiff
    wrist brace for a few days and it will subside for weeks.
    She also had trigger thumbs and surgery for that to.
    That surgery was way more successful.
    God's speedy recovery to all who suffer.
     
  11. IDave

    IDave

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    I think the surgery failures come from 4 things: misdiagnosis (or, more often, there are coincident causes of neuropathy), surgery is done too late (and damage was irreversable), there is a cause such as diabetes that was not uncovered, and scarring occurs postoperatively that induces the same problem.

    Ed, I've never tried the copper thing. I wonder if there are controlled studies on that.
     
  12. DSRTRDR

    DSRTRDR I can mangle anything ... SILVER Star

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    if you have pain/tingling in the pinkie and ring finger, try to sleep in flat or change to a neck roll for a while. That should relax your neck and may relieve pressure points.
     
  13. Jman

    Jman

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    Good advice, if it's your neck--I've switched to no pillow when lying on my back, and an orthopedic foam pillow when on my side (and I never sleep on my stomach). If I do otherwise, I wind up with numb fingers in the morning. :frown:
     
  14. santiagol

    santiagol

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    I have been working with computers for 35 years and have recently switched from a regular mouse to a "rollerball" type that sits flat next to the keyboard and reduces the amount of arm motion, allows the arm to rest flat on the desk surface. This and exercise really helped.

    Then I went and hammered away for an hour at the steering damper in my truck (only way to remove it) and messed up my arm again. Go figure.
     
  15. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    I have the same thing you do, from racing mountain bikes for years. After a particularly hard training session last fall, I found myself unable to grip anything at all or type for several days. A good, long 6 month rest from riding (luckily over the winter) helped.

    Also, check out Specialized Body Geometry gloves and handlebar grips. They're designed to take pressure off the nerve in the wrist. I picked up both as well as raised the front end of the bike, and the symptoms, while not totally gone, are not painful or debilitating any more.

    ....funny thing is my hands don't go numb on the motorcycle.... :rolleyes:

    -H-
     
  16. IDave

    IDave

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    The ring and pinkie fingers are supplied by the ulnar nerve, which isolates itself after the nerve roots leave the spinal cord in the neck and mix and match in the nerve plexus in your shoulder region. It is most vulnerable in the inside groove of your elbow (called the ulnar groove). You can get Ulnar groove syndrome there.
     
  17. e rock

    e rock

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    Well, that sounds like a more likely candidate for what happened while riding. I occasionally get tendonitis in my elbows so I wonder if that inflammation can contribute to the problem?


    The more I read about CTS, the more I'm convinced that I still deal with it, but only when wrenching or swinging a machete for hours at a time. Even then, it goes away quickly so it sounds like I shouldn't complain compared to the debilitating effects others face.

    Once I figure out the procedure for handling work-related injuries, I'll see a neurologist. If it's this bad at 29, I don't want to push it off until I'm any older.