Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  1. Has anyone here have any stories to share about their personal experiences with this? I was diagnosed a couple of months ago, but the past 3 weeks it seems to have gotten much worse. I'm now starting to have pain where before it was just numbness. I actually had trouble holding a plastic bottle of pop at work the other night.
    If you had the surgery, how long did you have to be off work? How bad were your symptoms before you had to have this surgery? Thanks so much,

    Sherri
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   rnmi2004
    Yes, after a few hours on allnurses.com my carpal tunnel really acts up.

    Sorry, I don't have any experience with surgery but I do have occasional numbness--I did have many, many years of data entry behind me before I started nursing school. Can I look forward to it getting worse?
  4. by   zenman
    I'd do surgery as a last resort. I had a pinched nerve in my neck and carpal tunnel but since I'm a bodyworker and RN, was not about to get surgery. Exercises and stretching took care of it. Find you a good bodyworker that can fix you up. Got to also look at what you're doing to get the condition in the first place.
  5. by   Erin RN
    I have not had the surgery although I do have a mild case of it. I am currently a worker's comp case manager and have 3 files of workers who have had the surgery and several others that I have closed and they have been released. If you have bilateral, the MD will operate on them one at a time. The first wrist is done and you will be off work for about 10 days, until the stitches are taken out. Then you can return to light duty ie; limited use of that hand. One month after the first one is done then the other will be operated on, again you will be off work for approx 10 days and be able to return light duty..usually a full work release is 4-6 weeks after the last procedure with a full medical release at 1 yr post op. Of the 6 claimants I have managed, all have done well and the release has been successsful. If you do it I would recommend you go to a hand specialist that does a lot of these procedures. Have you had an emg done? If you are having problems even holding something you probably should. You can do permenant damage to your ulnar nerve if it being compressed too severely and yes, it will get worse especially if you are still doing whatever repetition that has caused it in the first place..
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    On a scale of 1-10 i'd say mine's at a 6 all the time. I sleep with the wrist stablizing braces on, and that does the trick.

    Couple of years ago i was having pain and numbness in both hands, to the point that i got a total of one hour of sleep at night, the rest of the time i kept crying and rocking back and forth because it hurt so bad. No medicines worked on the pain at all, heat didn't help, etc. My (then) boyfriend was losing sleep as well because when i was up, HE was up. He talked to his stepmom, and she was the one that suggested the stabilizing braces. They were 20 dollars each (WELL worth the investment!!!) and the first nigth i wore them, i wound up sleeping 10 hours straight (probably from LACK of sleep for weeks), pain free.

    As long as i sleep with my braces on, i do not have any pain or numbness, and i spend quite a bit of time on a keyboard.
  7. by   chillywill
    I had surgery for CTS on my left hand in Nov. 03, and scheduled for the right hand for May 04. I canceled the second surgery, the symptoms only slightly diminished after the surgery and multiple weeks of PT. Now the pain in my left hand is MUCH worse if I bump my palm against any non yielding surface,(like a door knob or handle). I would recommend at least several opinions and as many diagnostic proceedures as you can stand before you consider the surgery. I went through two years of alternative treatment, vitamins and splints, etc., before I elected to try the surgery. Good luck
  8. by   sdg
    I have CTS also in both hands. I am not a nurse yet so I got it at my current job and also at home. I have heard that the surgery usually does not help much. I wear the splints at night and take lots of ibuprofen.
  9. by   limabean
    I just had carpal tunnel surgery about 5 weeks ago. So far it has been well worth it. I developed carpal tunnel from writing so much in my Patho class. At first it was just numb every once in awhile...however, eventually it started to get so numb and hurt so bad that I could only write one word before the pain and numbness began. I knew it was really bad when I dropped food on a patient during clinicals because I could no longer feel the spoon. I decided to go ahead and have the surgery b/c I knew that I could not move patients or write. I had previously tried meds, a brace, 3 cortisone injections....(by the way the cortisone injections worked for approximately 5 months each...but then they wore off). I am happier now b/c I can at least write! It still hurts when I twist my hand or when I touch anything on the scar. Also, my doctor said that the scar could be sensitive for many years. I would suggest other options first....but if it gets too bad it might be worth it for you. Good luck!
  10. by   dianah
    Bro-in-law (non-medical) had BOTH wrists surgerized simultaneously, was back to work in 2 wk (he's a mechanic). I about fell over my chin when sis told me he was having both done at once, but he seems to have weathered it, reports wonderful improvement in symptoms, can sleep at nite now (no more total-arm aching/pain all nite, and after work), and is very pleased with the outcome.

    I've had carpal tunnel for about 10 yr, it's stable now, I am chicken to have the surgery (afraid there will be NO improvement following it). The brace gives me claustrophobia; so far Aleve helps for flareups; aren't there any alternatives to surgery???? I'm about ready to do a google search (did one two years or so ago, and there was some promising info but nothing tried and true) again.
    Only thing I urge for this most personal decision is to research, research, research, and ask many many questions.
  11. by   RN4NICU
    Has anyone looked into/had the new laser therapy for carpal tunnel?
  12. by   jodidax
    hi my name is cindy i an new to this site, i have moderate to severe carpal tunnel i have numbness and pain especially my wrists, and thumbs, i started dropping things about six months ago and was waking up with numb hands and swelling, i knew what was wrong and tried the chiro and braces and physical therapy, it has not helped, and emg did confirm, i am having bil surgery done on monday, post op is about two weeks then light duty, but they do not have to let you come back if they do not want to, post op is six weeks and full post op is one year, although the endoscopy carpal tunnel surgery is suppose to be alot more post op and less painful, but nerve damage is more likely i am told, i asked the physicians on my floor what was best all said the old way, i did wait too long and have nerve damage in my right hand, with numbness all the time and partial feeling so dont wait, braces and exercises at this point wont help, my doctor is hopeful the feeling will come back but only fifty fifty chance and may take some time, if you wait and do one after another you will be off work alot longer and workmans comp wont cover where i am, so if you have a source of income one month to twelve weeks is wonderful wish i could do that, anyway, have an emg done if no damage is there maybe pt would help, and braces at night, the surgery itself is about ten to fifteen minutes, small surgery for such along post op, anyway good luck cindy from iowa
  13. by   dianah
    Good luck Cindy, let us know how things go. I'm hoping for a simple surgery, uncomplicated postop period and good recovery for you! -- D
  14. by   MelissaRN
    My husband has it pretty bad also. He wears the brace at night which helps quite a bit. Has anyone had any experience with cortisone shots?

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