Carpal Tunnel

For those of you who do not know carpal tunnel is numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist (according to google).

For me the numbness and tingling was accompanied by sharp shooting pain or aching. This started for me about 3 years ago. My hands would go numb doing simple things like driving, writing, or just using my phone. I put off getting it checked out for a long time, until it got to the point where my dads insurance would be running out so I needed to get it taken care of.

I started by visiting my primary care provider where I went over my symptoms he did some squeezing, pushing and bending on my hands. He prescribed me an anti-inflammatory for 2 weeks and scheduled me a follow up appointment at the end of the 2 weeks. Nothing had changed so he prescribed me Prednisone for 2 weeks and sent out a referral to physical medicine. I had my appointment at physical medicine where they conducted a nerve conduction test. This test consisted of electrical currents being sent through my arm. This was a relatively painless process, more irritating then anything until she got to the needle. She stuck 2 needles in my hand, on into the webbing between your thumb and pointer and the other into the fatty part by your thumb! After inserting them she wiggled them around with the same electrical currents now that was painful!

She was able to confirm that it was carpal tunnel and tendonitis. She said she could do cortisone injections which would be a temporary fix or recommend me for surgery. I asked for the surgeon. So she sent out the referral for an orthopedic surgeon and on occupational therapist for the tendonitis. In my mind there was no point in doing the OT because I would soon be having surgery and I would not be able to tell the difference between the Tendonitis pain or the carpal tunnel pain.

I went and visited the surgeon where he explained that they would make a small incision on the palm of my hand and cut the ligament that goes across. He said there is a chance of it growing back together later on but it typically grows back with an arch in it which would prevent the symptoms from returning.

Before leaving that appointment I had scheduled for both of my hands to be treated. I wanted to do my dominant hand (right) first and get it out of the way. SO July 28th I had my right done and August 18th I had my left done.

Surgery only took about 10 minutes. They put an IV in both hands. They explained that one was to put fluids in and the other was to numb the hand they were working on. From what I was told it only took me about 20 minutes to wake up after the surgery and I was able to walk right out. My hand remained numb for the rest of the day. Both times I woke up around 2 am from the pain. The numbing meds had worn off. 14 days after each surgery stitches were removed which is always nice because they can not get wet while they are in.

My right hand which was done first has not experienced any pins and needles since done. On rare occasions through out my day to day tasks I experience slight pain which the doctor has said to be normal since it is still healing internally.

I will be getting my stitches out for my left hand on the 30th of this month and then on to the home stretch.

I will include some photos for anyone to get an idea of how it looks. I must warn anyone having this done that each surgery seems to be different. I am part of a Facebook page called I survived carpal tunnel surgery where ladies post about their procedures. Some ladies are wrapped up like they are boxers where I had one piece of gauze wrapped on it. Some ladies were cut across their wrist and down their palm where I had a one inch cut on my palm. Some ladies talk about how things have not changed while others say it was the best thing they ever had done. Keep that in mind.

Pic one:Yesterday right hand

Middle: Day the stitches were taken out. right hand

last: 21 days after surgery.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

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