Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sucks

Wag

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#1
About 1 1/2 months ago I woke up in agony- my hands were all stiff and I could barely move my fingers. Over the next month the pain in my hands got progressively worse- I thought I had arthritis. I bought compression gloves, splints, etc. Went to my pcp who sent me to a hand surgeon. Hand surgeon says I have bi-lateral CTS, and there really isn't much you can do for it. If the symptoms don't relieve themselves over time (I wear a splint on both hands, and do some hand exercises) I'll need surgery on both hands.

I had to drive around 2hrs the other day and towards the end I could barely keep my hands on the steering wheel. I can't play my guitar anymore and forget about video games. This is the most amount of typing I've done in a while.

What I found interesting is that my doctor told me that they don't really know why some people get it and others don't. Does anyone else have CTS? How do they deal with it, how was it treated, surgery, etc?
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#2
I have a very minor case of CTS, largely due to spending years playing on PC and not handling my mouse properly for an excessive amount of hours. I've corrected it over the years by using it properly in games and doing hand exercises and now I don't really notice the effects other than still having weak grip strength.
 
OP
OP
Wag

Wag

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#4
Ironically, earlier this year I purchased a Microsoft 4000 Ergonomic Keyboard and a Vertical mouse and I still got CTS. :(
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#6
I had the symptoms for it, including not being able to sleep, but for some reason it went away and the only advice I got was "don't do whatever it was you did before".
Well, the real solution is surgery but that seems to be a last resort option.

I hope it either clears up for you or you can find some relief. The doctor did recommend using a brace when sleeping if it persisted - but only during sleeping hours.
 
Oct 31, 2017
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#7
I'm going in for surgery on Tuesday for carpal tunnel in my left hand and tendonitis in my left elbow. It's going to suck.
 
Oct 31, 2017
225
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#9
A few years ago I suddenly developed ulnar tunnel syndrome. I’ve been using computer keyboards daily since 1979 so this came as something of a shock.

But then I figured out what caused it.

Some months earlier, I’d had PRK laser eye surgery on my left eye, so that eye would be for distance and my right for reading. (This actually worked out amazingly well after I got used to it). Anyway, after the ulnar tunnel syndrome started up and I spent some time reading up on causes, I realized the condition was a direct result of my eye surgery.

I discovered that I had unconsciously begun leaning over my desk to bring my eyes closer to my monitors, and as a result, resting my elbows on my desk. So I moved my monitors as close to the front of my desk as I could, and within a matter of weeks the condition had reversed itself.

So maybe in your case, there’s some seemingly unrelated change that’s contributing to your carpal tunnel syndrome, too.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#10
About a month ago, I woke up in extreme pain with my left pinkie finger. I would have some minor discomfort which has been coming and going for about a year, but this one was on a whole other level. A good chunk of the pain did go away after a day or two of rest, but there was still some left. I'm currently going through physical therapy for wrist related problems and I told the doctors and they gave me some stretches to do. Again, it helped improve things, but there's still that remaining pain left that's not going away. Starting to get really concerned now. It's difficult to bend, straighten, or really do anything at this point.

Gonna see them again on Tuesday, hopefully get something that works.

Wish you luck on your problem, though!
 
OP
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Wag

Wag

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#11
A few years ago I suddenly developed ulnar tunnel syndrome. I’ve been using computer keyboards daily since 1979 so this came as something of a shock.

But then I figured out what caused it.

Some months earlier, I’d had PRK laser eye surgery on my left eye, so that eye would be for distance and my right for reading. (This actually worked out amazingly well after I got used to it). Anyway, after the ulnar tunnel syndrome started up and I spent some time reading up on causes, I realized the condition was a direct result of my eye surgery.

I discovered that I had unconsciously begun leaning over my desk to bring my eyes closer to my monitors, and as a result, resting my elbows on my desk. So I moved my monitors as close to the front of my desk as I could, and within a matter of weeks the condition had reversed itself.

So maybe in your case, there’s some seemingly unrelated change that’s contributing to your carpal tunnel syndrome, too.
I moved but I'm still using the same desk. The only differences for me with the computer are:

Ergonomic Keyboard
Vertical Mouse
New computer chair

I doubt it's the first two, so it might be the chair because it has arms that I rest my arms on while typing. I'm predisposed to CTS because I have Type 2 diabetes (which is weight managed- currently I have no symptoms).

I haven't been using the computer much but I still have CTS symptoms, so I'm not really sure what it is, or how to resolve it. All I can say is it's incredibly painful.
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#12
MS just recently released a new kind of control-concept that allows people with disabilities to play games depending on what disabilities they have. Maybe look into that if you feel like playing games again.

 
OP
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Wag

Wag

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#13
MS just recently released a new kind of control-concept that allows people with disabilities to play games depending on what disabilities they have. Maybe look into that if you feel like playing games again.

That's interesting- I haven't quite gotten to that point yet. I'm hoping I'm able to lessen or resolve the symptoms over time.
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,070
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#14
A few years ago I suddenly developed ulnar tunnel syndrome. I’ve been using computer keyboards daily since 1979 so this came as something of a shock.

But then I figured out what caused it.

Some months earlier, I’d had PRK laser eye surgery on my left eye, so that eye would be for distance and my right for reading. (This actually worked out amazingly well after I got used to it). Anyway, after the ulnar tunnel syndrome started up and I spent some time reading up on causes, I realized the condition was a direct result of my eye surgery.

I discovered that I had unconsciously begun leaning over my desk to bring my eyes closer to my monitors, and as a result, resting my elbows on my desk. So I moved my monitors as close to the front of my desk as I could, and within a matter of weeks the condition had reversed itself.

So maybe in your case, there’s some seemingly unrelated change that’s contributing to your carpal tunnel syndrome, too.
I got this too. And yeah, it was from putting my elbows on my desk too much.

I still get it sometimes if I bend my elbows excessively. But it's much much better.
 

Cyanity

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Oct 25, 2017
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#16
I used to get CT from using weedwackers back when I did summer landscaping. It sucked ass but was always temporary for me, and would go away when I was done landscaping for the year. I guess I got lucky?
 

shira

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Oct 25, 2017
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#17
When I was a younger I was sure I had carpal tunnel. Pins and needles everytime I typed or worked out. Scared af especially when it started happening with stuff like picking up a pencil.

A friend suggested to try and relax my forearms. Learned to relax my forearms. No issues again ever.

The chiropractor who suggested it *for free* (one of the good ones) told me that apparently a looooooot of people who type for a living or workout a lot are prone to their forearm muscles getting too tight and constricting blood vessels.
People end up going your route with, in his opinon, useless orthotics and end up needing surgery because things just get sooooo bad.
Not sure what the statistics are since lul chiropractor journals are fucking useless, but I can't believe my luck with this "one simple chiropractic trick" which actually worked.

Not sure what your scenario is OP if something like relaxation can work or if you have physiologically small blood vessels that are easily compressed, but good luck
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#19
I have a very minor case of CTS, largely due to spending years playing on PC and not handling my mouse properly for an excessive amount of hours. I've corrected it over the years by using it properly in games and doing hand exercises and now I don't really notice the effects other than still having weak grip strength.
I just started on this path. Going to physical therapy but getting better is slow and long and it sucks.
 
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Wag

Wag

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#20
I am in agony right now. I honestly don't know what to do. Going to the ER for carpal tunnel is kind of ridiculous, they'll just examine me and send me home. I'd take Ibuprofen but I feel like it's eating a hole in my stomach, plus it really doesn't work all that well.

Thank God for dictation by the way.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#22
MS just recently released a new kind of control-concept that allows people with disabilities to play games depending on what disabilities they have. Maybe look into that if you feel like playing games again.

This is sooo cool! I want one.
 
Oct 31, 2017
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#23
I had surgery today for carpal tunnel. The worst part so far is not being able to use my hand. The doctor told my parents that it was a lot worse than he thought when he got in there. It doesn't hurt much, either. It's just a little sore. My elbow, where they fixed the tendons, is aching more than my hand, but even it isn't hurting as much as it does after a long day of work.
 
OP
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Wag

Wag

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#25

What are some good excercises to avoid this from happening to someone who types or games a lot?
Not much. Take longer breaks.

I just bought a couple of these and they're great.

BK- Sorry to hear it. I share your pain (literally). I have it in both hands.

How long is the recovery time?
 
OP
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Wag

Wag

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#27


Wrist brace all the time? My wife has carpal tunnel (not horribly bad) and getting specialized night brace helped a lot.
I have 4 wrist braces now. Two for day, two for night. I bought this one for sleeping- I wore it for the first time last night. I woke up in the middle of the night freaking out because I'm not used to having it on. lol

I think my carpal tunnel is so bad nothing helps at this point.
 
Dec 10, 2017
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#28
What are some good excercises to avoid this from happening to someone who types or games a lot?
Here are good tips to prevent carpal tunnel:

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/how-can-i-prevent-carpal-tunnel-syndrome#1

And exercises:

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/exercises-carpal-tunnel-syndrome

The key here is that you don't half-ass it and follow every single tip, including hourly breaks and doing the exercises on a consistent basis. If you ignore half the tips and only do the exercises a few times a week it probably won't help at all.
 
Oct 31, 2017
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#29
BK- Sorry to hear it. I share your pain (literally). I have it in both hands.

How long is the recovery time?
It's in both of mine, too. I'll have to have the other hand done eventually. When the surgery was over, the doctor was talking to my parents and said it was a lot worse than he thought it was. Recovery will take a while. I'm supposed to go back the 29th. I assume they will remove the staples and go over recovery exercises then.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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#30
Here are good tips to prevent carpal tunnel:

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/how-can-i-prevent-carpal-tunnel-syndrome#1

And exercises:

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/exercises-carpal-tunnel-syndrome

The key here is that you don't half-ass it and follow every single tip, including hourly breaks and doing the exercises on a consistent basis. If you ignore half the tips and only do the exercises a few times a week it probably won't help at all.
I’ll check that out. I’m mainly having issues in my right index finger. Gets super sore and inflamed.
 

AMAGON

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Oct 25, 2017
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#31
When I was a younger I was sure I had carpal tunnel. Pins and needles everytime I typed or worked out. Scared af especially when it started happening with stuff like picking up a pencil.

A friend suggested to try and relax my forearms. Learned to relax my forearms. No issues again ever.

The chiropractor who suggested it *for free* (one of the good ones) told me that apparently a looooooot of people who type for a living or workout a lot are prone to their forearm muscles getting too tight and constricting blood vessels.
People end up going your route with, in his opinon, useless orthotics and end up needing surgery because things just get sooooo bad.
Not sure what the statistics are since lul chiropractor journals are fucking useless, but I can't believe my luck with this "one simple chiropractic trick" which actually worked.

Not sure what your scenario is OP if something like relaxation can work or if you have physiologically small blood vessels that are easily compressed, but good luck
how does one relax the forearm?

for years, I'm noticing my forearms will tense when playing a controller after an hour or so and it has been driving me crazy.
 
Oct 31, 2017
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#32
I took my gauze and wrap off tonight. The incision covers almost the entire length of my palm. There's bruising below the wrist, too. Half my thumb is numb, but the rest haven't been numb at all and my hand has been in a half fist all week. Hopefully the numbness in the thumb goes away with the swelling.
 
Nov 2, 2017
157
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#33
I was developing not carpal tunnel, but the other one. Switched to a vertical mouse and I got a chair with adjustable height and adjustable armrests. I can already tell things are getting better after two weeks.
 
Nov 7, 2017
523
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#34
About 1 1/2 months ago I woke up in agony- my hands were all stiff and I could barely move my fingers. Over the next month the pain in my hands got progressively worse- I thought I had arthritis. I bought compression gloves, splints, etc. Went to my pcp who sent me to a hand surgeon. Hand surgeon says I have bi-lateral CTS, and there really isn't much you can do for it. If the symptoms don't relieve themselves over time (I wear a splint on both hands, and do some hand exercises) I'll need surgery on both hands.

I had to drive around 2hrs the other day and towards the end I could barely keep my hands on the steering wheel. I can't play my guitar anymore and forget about video games. This is the most amount of typing I've done in a while.

What I found interesting is that my doctor told me that they don't really know why some people get it and others don't. Does anyone else have CTS? How do they deal with it, how was it treated, surgery, etc?
Look up nerve glides or nerve tensioners for the upper extremity. This is the best conservative option you have and is the most effective for managing and reversing the symptoms. Also look up peripheral nerve sensitization to better understand the condition.

Longer duration fasting (3 days or greater) triggers autophagy and peripheral nerve repair [brain derived neurotrophic factor] and reduces inflammation by release of betahydroxybuterate.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,295
0
Miami
#35
I am medial technician who does nerve conduction studies, we see more carpal tunnel cases than anything else. OP the hand surgeon should have ordered a nerve conduction study/EMG to definitely tell you if you have carpal tunnel and how severe it is, whether you need surgery or not. Make sure the test is done by a neurologist, there are some crap NCSs being done out there the wrong way. BTW the way you make your hand surgeon sound makes it seem they don't know much.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the median nerve being entrapped at the carpal tunnel which is a small tunnel between bones at your wrist where tendons and nerves enter your hand. Repetitive actions, being born with a small tunnel, inflammation of the muscles in the area can all contribute to it. Carpal Tunnel symptoms are NUMBNESS of the first three digits and eventually weakness of your thumb muscle to the point where the muscle will atrophy and you will lose the ability to do certain actions with your thumb. In severe cases the numbness can feel like pain which radiates up your forearm.

The symptoms will be worse at night because no one sleeps with their wrists straight, your muscles relax and your wrist will bend and squeeze the tunnel all night. This is why many wake up from carpal tunnel. You should buy a wrist split which keeps your hand straight all night.

If your carpal tunnel is mild, wearing a split and just watching what you do could reverse it. Sometimes doctors give injections in the wrist as well. If it's moderate to severe just do the surgery, it's the only way to be certain that you fixed the problem. It's outpatient, takes like an hour, you recover in two weeks and has a great success rate (if it was carpal Tunnel that caused the symptoms, again get the NCS test). If you wait to long and your thumb muscle has already begun to atrophy, it might be too late, you may never gain that muscle strength back but you may relieve the numbness.

OP you speak of strong pain... I don't know if you have CTS, could be arthritis or something else. You also say you are diabetic, this maybe a generalized neuropathy if you have numbness in your feet as well. Get the test, find doctors who deal with CTS all the time. It's not that scary, CTS is super common and most get treated just fine.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
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#36
Miamiwesker very informative post, thank you. I think I could have a very mild case as wearing a splint at night has alleviated most of my issues. ( My mother had surgery years ago, and before that wore them so I always had them around ) Either way, appreciate it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,295
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Miami
#38
Miamiwesker very informative post, thank you. I think I could have a very mild case as wearing a splint at night has alleviated most of my issues. ( My mother had surgery years ago, and before that wore them so I always had them around ) Either way, appreciate it.
Keep wearing them, if things improve you maybe fine without surgery. Watch what actions you do all day, if you type all day that's going to be an issue. Say you are a hair dresser, it's a profession filled with people that get CTS. Anything where you are doing repetitive motions with your hands, moving your wrists, those are at risk. If you are in one of those professions might be better to get ahead of this and just do the surgery. The surgery moves the median nerve outside the tunnel so that it does get squeezed. Again do not do anything without speaking to a doctor that deals with this, usually neurologists and hand surgeons.
 
Oct 31, 2017
1,763
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#39
I had the test done on my hands on July. They said I had moderate carpal tunnel in both hands. The surgeon said my left hand was really bad when he got in it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,295
0
Miami
#40
I had the test done on my hands on July. They said I had moderate carpal tunnel in both hands. The surgeon said my left hand was really bad when he got in it.
Ok. Give it time. A few weeks after the surgery you remove the brace and can you use your hand again but full recovery will take a couple of months. If all went well with the surgery you should be symptom free in time.

I just saw your previous post, they did an incision across the palm? Sounds like you did an open surgery. now there are surgeries where they go with a tiny incision with an endoscope, the scar is almost unnoticeable.

https://www.uwhealth.org/health/top...syndrome-endoscopic-surgery-for/hw212492.html

I assume there is a reason they did what they did. Either way you should be fine in time.
 
Last edited:
Oct 29, 2017
294
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#42
I think I have ulnar tunnel syndrome, where I have this weird "pain" in my pinky finger , but only if I press it in certain ways - if I'm not thinking about it it doesn't even bother me. I did a CT scan of my hand myself, and found nothing, but I only have an appointment with a doctor in december :\ Don't know if it's from my computer usage or bike riding.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,820
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#43
Really sorry to hear that, OP! Sounds horrendous. I also have difficulties that limit my motion. Thoracic outlet syndrome makes me experience rough nerve pain in my shoulders and arms. It can definitely make me discouraged when it comes to playing guitar, which I also play. Going to physical therapy and doing the exercises does seem to be making it better, however. Maybe try that?
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,295
0
Miami
#45
I think I have ulnar tunnel syndrome, where I have this weird "pain" in my pinky finger , but only if I press it in certain ways - if I'm not thinking about it it doesn't even bother me. I did a CT scan of my hand myself, and found nothing, but I only have an appointment with a doctor in december :\ Don't know if it's from my computer usage or bike riding.
The ulnar nerve commonly gets entrapped at the elbow through the tarsal tunnel. It's a very superficial nerve so if you are someone who leans on their elbow a lot, we all do to some extent, it will get compressed. Make sure your arm rests are cushioned. Wear an elbow pad for a while see if it helps.

The ulnar nerve feeds the 5th and half of the 4th fingers and the inside of your arm. When it's compressed you will feel numbness on those fingers and maybe that side of the arm.

Once again, pain is usually not related to entrapments like these. If it's just occurring on one finger and it positional you may have something else happening. If you want to make sure visit a doctor and maybe get a nerve study done.
 
Nov 3, 2017
2,640
0
#46



I have 4 wrist braces now. Two for day, two for night. I bought this one for sleeping- I wore it for the first time last night. I woke up in the middle of the night freaking out because I'm not used to having it on. lol

I think my carpal tunnel is so bad nothing helps at this point.
This works, i started using about 9 years ago it's completely stop CTS from getting worse....
 

Heckler456

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Oct 25, 2017
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#48
I am medial technician who does nerve conduction studies, we see more carpal tunnel cases than anything else. OP the hand surgeon should have ordered a nerve conduction study/EMG to definitely tell you if you have carpal tunnel and how severe it is, whether you need surgery or not. Make sure the test is done by a neurologist, there are some crap NCSs being done out there the wrong way. BTW the way you make your hand surgeon sound makes it seem they don't know much.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the median nerve being entrapped at the carpal tunnel which is a small tunnel between bones at your wrist where tendons and nerves enter your hand. Repetitive actions, being born with a small tunnel, inflammation of the muscles in the area can all contribute to it. Carpal Tunnel symptoms are NUMBNESS of the first three digits and eventually weakness of your thumb muscle to the point where the muscle will atrophy and you will lose the ability to do certain actions with your thumb. In severe cases the numbness can feel like pain which radiates up your forearm.

The symptoms will be worse at night because no one sleeps with their wrists straight, your muscles relax and your wrist will bend and squeeze the tunnel all night. This is why many wake up from carpal tunnel. You should buy a wrist split which keeps your hand straight all night.

If your carpal tunnel is mild, wearing a split and just watching what you do could reverse it. Sometimes doctors give injections in the wrist as well. If it's moderate to severe just do the surgery, it's the only way to be certain that you fixed the problem. It's outpatient, takes like an hour, you recover in two weeks and has a great success rate (if it was carpal Tunnel that caused the symptoms, again get the NCS test). If you wait to long and your thumb muscle has already begun to atrophy, it might be too late, you may never gain that muscle strength back but you may relieve the numbness.

OP you speak of strong pain... I don't know if you have CTS, could be arthritis or something else. You also say you are diabetic, this maybe a generalized neuropathy if you have numbness in your feet as well. Get the test, find doctors who deal with CTS all the time. It's not that scary, CTS is super common and most get treated just fine.
When you say "first three fingers", do you mean thumb, pointer and middle?

I feel numbness sometimes in my outermost two fingers. Most notably, and most reproducibly when using a vita.
 
Oct 25, 2017
356
0
#49
Try some things like a night splint and altering your working position.

Other non-surgical opinions available such as a steroid injection into the carpal tunnel could help.

But, if you are starting to get night pain, loss of power to the hand where you’re not even safe to drive then you’ll need to consider surgery.

Surgery can be done under local anaesthetic and takes about 20 mins as a day case. Recover can take up to 2 weeks before you can fully use your hand again and up to 6 weeks before the scar to be stable.

Risks for surgery include damaging the branch of the nerve that moves your thumb (called the million dollar nerve), painful scar, incomplete release and recurrence and painful wrist.
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,693
0
#50
I am medial technician who does nerve conduction studies, we see more carpal tunnel cases than anything else. OP the hand surgeon should have ordered a nerve conduction study/EMG to definitely tell you if you have carpal tunnel and how severe it is, whether you need surgery or not. Make sure the test is done by a neurologist, there are some crap NCSs being done out there the wrong way. BTW the way you make your hand surgeon sound makes it seem they don't know much.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the median nerve being entrapped at the carpal tunnel which is a small tunnel between bones at your wrist where tendons and nerves enter your hand. Repetitive actions, being born with a small tunnel, inflammation of the muscles in the area can all contribute to it. Carpal Tunnel symptoms are NUMBNESS of the first three digits and eventually weakness of your thumb muscle to the point where the muscle will atrophy and you will lose the ability to do certain actions with your thumb. In severe cases the numbness can feel like pain which radiates up your forearm.

The symptoms will be worse at night because no one sleeps with their wrists straight, your muscles relax and your wrist will bend and squeeze the tunnel all night. This is why many wake up from carpal tunnel. You should buy a wrist split which keeps your hand straight all night.

If your carpal tunnel is mild, wearing a split and just watching what you do could reverse it. Sometimes doctors give injections in the wrist as well. If it's moderate to severe just do the surgery, it's the only way to be certain that you fixed the problem. It's outpatient, takes like an hour, you recover in two weeks and has a great success rate (if it was carpal Tunnel that caused the symptoms, again get the NCS test). If you wait to long and your thumb muscle has already begun to atrophy, it might be too late, you may never gain that muscle strength back but you may relieve the numbness.

OP you speak of strong pain... I don't know if you have CTS, could be arthritis or something else. You also say you are diabetic, this maybe a generalized neuropathy if you have numbness in your feet as well. Get the test, find doctors who deal with CTS all the time. It's not that scary, CTS is super common and most get treated just fine.
Thank you for this.