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carpal tunnel syndrome

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
everyday i wake up with my right hand aching... if i try and use a knife on something hard, it hurts... i wake up with no grip... this lasts until around 1 or 2pm

the last few days my fingers have been numb and tingling after and kind of exertion with my wrist.

what do you think? carpal tunnel, trapped nerve, or that trauma one...



edit... its been getting worse for around 6 weeks
post #2 of 19
Could be carpal tunnel. You should see a physician. Most people with carpal tunnel get some relief by wearing a brace at night when they sleep (some people flex their wrists to extremes during sleep), and others get some relief with NSAID's (high-dose ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.).

If that doesn't help, then an orthopedic surgeon may have to snip the flexor retinaculum (a fibrous sheath that entraps the median nerve and causes carpal tunnel syndrome).
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
im gonna get a brace, and ive taken some ibruprofen (400mg) i know the NSAID's have helped before...
post #4 of 19
Try and work out the problem with stretching, braces, and regular ibuprofen. Avoid surgery at all costs.

I developed Carpal Tunnel and tried physical therapy, it helped me for a bit, but I ended up having surgery, which sucked. Long recovery time for me, and it sort of led me to my current job of teaching. I plan to get back in the real world sometime in the next year or so, but life's funny like that.
post #5 of 19
Acupuncture can help, if it were up to me I would try that first. It does not work for everybody, but it did for me.

That, and frequent stretching too. And be ok with drinking the traditional medicinal teas of my people as the doctor prescribes it, no matter how vile it is. :D

Good luck, CTS sucks.

Pat
post #6 of 19
If it is carpal tunnel syndrome, you can usually tell because you should feel numbness in your thumb, index finger, middle finger and 1/2 of the side of your ring finger. If your ulnar nerve is the cause, then the other 1/2 side of your ring finger and your little finger will be numb instead.

I had CTS so bad that for the better part of a year I had no feeling in my fingertips at all, and had to have my wife button my shirts. I had to use my little finger to dig change back out of the coke machine.

Wrist bracelets made the problem worse by putting continuous pressure on the median (carpal) nerve. Ergonometric positioning at my work station helped but not a whole lot. It's more of a preventative than a cure.

NSAIDS didn't help much.

What did help was the use of Iontophoresis using a device called the Dupel system made by EMPI Corporation. A physical therapist can get the dexamethasone sodium phosphate solution from the druggist (on order from a doctor) and applies it to bandage like electrode patche. One patch goes over the carpal area of your wrist and the return electrode patch goes up near your elbow. Anyway, the device creates a field in the medicated pad that propels the like-charged ions of the dexamethasone into the localized area of the swollen nerve. (Acutally, what is happening is that repetitive use of the hand causes the carpal nerve to swell. It is surrounded on three sides by wrist bones and on the fourth side by the "carpal ligature". The carpal nerve has nowhere to expand, and therefore gets "strangulated", so to speak, thus cutting off the ability to transmit nerve impulses.

Surgery, according to the State person who monitors these things, told me that in about 1/2 of the cases he's followed, the cutting of the ligature, while acutely relieving the pressure on the nerve by allowing it to expand resulted in the ligature healing itself, and the scar tissue that results actually decreased the "tunnel" through which the carpal nerve passes, thus making the problem worse in the chronic situation.

Therefore, I solved my problem with the Dupel system. About three 1/2 hour treatments a week for about 3 weeks resulted in my waking up one day and it was gone. Preventative treatment was to repeat this procedure once or twice a year and I've not been bothered by it since. That was over 10 years ago.

Just my experience, and not to be taken as me giving you medical advice. I am not a physician!

doc
post #7 of 19
You're not a doctor, but I'll bet you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
It's Good To Be The King!
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It's Good To Be The King!
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post #8 of 19
I don't get the joke?!

doc
post #9 of 19
Surely you must have seen the Holiday Inn Express commercials?!?

Not sure who Montelago was referring to in his post, but I am a licensed physician practicing emergency medicine.
post #10 of 19
I was referring to deltadoc. In the commercials, you see some seeming professional giving advice or offering services in a critical situation. The recipient then thanks the doctor, or whatever he is. The guy then says, Oh, I'm not a doctor, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
It's Good To Be The King!
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It's Good To Be The King!
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post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
yeah, i found out whats causing it... apparently i sleep and tuck my wrist under my trunk (my chest if you will) forcing my wrist bent to the extreme!

well sh!t i sleep like a fool!

anyway, im gonna have to get it sorted, its definately the median nerve, as its the thumb 1st and middle finger that are sore and numb, and when i wake up i cant even put my own socks on my grip is so poor.

i can keep working like this, my job causes a lot of pain now, its only because i had a knee injury and refused to stay off it for 3 months (the doctor said 3 month) and was up and around in 2 weeks and back at work 4 weeks after the muscles in my knee were cut (to allow my kneecap to track properly) im used to pain so...

but still, how am i supposed to hold my son when hes born (april 22nd btw) if i cant even hold my own hand up or pick up a pen.

i have an appointment with my doctor on wednesday at 9am so it should be nice and sore and weak then (it wears off by lunchtime) so he should see the full effect!
post #12 of 19
Nope, don't watch regular broadcast TV much!


doc
post #13 of 19
Good for you. That is one of the most intelligent posts I have seen on here.
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post #14 of 19
seraphim, if you sleep the way you describe, sleeping with a splint may offer a lot of help.

Let us know what your physician tells you.
post #15 of 19
Had surgery for carpel tunnel in 1995, the doctor cut the tendon to my ring finger and tied it around the little finger, those two fingers now move as one..on bad days if I hold a knife too long my hand remains in a grip position until the pain subsides...I am now experiencing the very same pain in my left hand..losing my grip, losing the sense of touch, etc. Will not have surgery this time around and will explore alternative methods.
post #16 of 19
That is not the typical carpal tunnel surgery. Normally a hand surgeon cuts the flexor retinaculum and does not do what you describe. Your surgery is not the norm.
post #17 of 19
He also removed the ulnar nerve from my elbow..the doctor told me it was the worst case of nerve damage he'd ever seen...I have done my best to strengthen my right arm (since it is my primary arm) by working out, I do the stretching things...and so far so good. I still have pain but such is life.

I have had my right arm jerk for no apparent reason many times over the years, sometimes I have something in my hand which causes injuries (only to myself)..which is why I now give myself plenty of time to do what has to be done in the course of the day. You live, you learn.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
sometimes you hurt yourself really badly and there is nothing you can do but let a surgeon stop it getting worse,

my knee is the same... i have pain every day for the rest of my life, and the pain killers i need to cover it are addictive and require ever increasing doses... so i dont take anything

my hand now wont stop hurting, and i was writing today probably 10 lines of writing and when i finished one whole half of my hand was completely numb...

good thing i have doctors appointment on wed
post #19 of 19
Sorry to hear it but sounds like the carp has struck another of us. I'm also a registered cut upon BTDT for carpel and plantars facaitus and still live in pain. Some days are better tan others but it takes more than two days of sitting with my feet propped or not doing anything with my right hand until the numbness stops. Now I've developed a freakin cyst on my wrist that has to be cut out!! Crap why couldn't I have stayed in the 60's or 70's and become a drummer in a rock band!!???
I am a great believer though in Sleepy Dragons eastern medicinal remedies especially the acupuncture. I spent 12 years in Korea and strongly believe in acupuncture. One treatment and I'm pain free for a minimum of 3 months max of 5.:beer::D
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