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Carpel tunnel

(13 Posts)
ExD Tue 30-Jun-20 17:36:04

Some years ago my husband had day surgery for carpel tunnel syndrome (I think that's the correct name for it) which was successful. Now I finding the same symptoms myself.
In April I asked my GP about it, by phone, and he said the first line of attack is an injection, done in the surgery, but he wasn't prepared to perform this whilst the covid virus was raging, and to 'get back to him'.
Would you say the virus is still 'raging'?
The pain at times is quite severe and I'd like to at least find out exactly what the problem is and to get onto a waiting list.
Does anyone know who I should contact - or am I correct to go through my GP who seems quite dismissive? Like most people I don't want to be a pest when so many people are seriously ill - but what should one do?

Calendargirl Tue 30-Jun-20 18:07:26

I would get in touch with your GP surgery again. It’s July tomorrow, 3 months since you enquired before, so hopefully, things are in a better position now.

BlueBelle Tue 30-Jun-20 18:29:38

Yes you do go through the GP and yes injection is the first line of defence ring and ask for an appointment now that time has moved on I had both injection and operation My mum had it and my eldest daughter so presume it can be hereditary

I had some bad luck as first injection the needle broke the injections made no difference for me so I had the op but I got an infection in the wound and ended up on a drip however the operation itself did what was needed and I ve never had it since, Mum and my daughter both had no problems except you can’t drive for a few weeks after, that didn’t effect me or mum but was difficult for daughter and work
It’s a tightening I was told like an elastic band that needs releasing

Charleygirl5 Tue 30-Jun-20 18:41:41

The correct name for it is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

tanith Tue 30-Jun-20 19:14:26

I had the surgery 8 mths ago, I already had muscle wastage by the time I saw the surgeon, my GP said the injections didn’t solve the problem only staved off the surgery and was happy to refer me straight away. It’s taken till now for the swelling to go down and most of the numbness to go although I still have some in the finger tips.
I’d say speak to your GP and ask to be referred.

Marydoll Tue 30-Jun-20 19:18:56

I had it. Treated initially with splints, then a number of steroid injections, eventually had an op.
Mine was all organised by my rheumatologist.
It took about a year to get to the op stage.
I would think your GP should be your first port of call.
I would contact him again.

Charleygirl5 Tue 30-Jun-20 21:41:08

If you are going to have surgery please make sure you are seen and if necessary, operated on by a hand surgeon and not just an orthopaedic surgeon who thinks he can turn his hand (excuse the pun) to anything orthopaedic.

Chewbacca Tue 30-Jun-20 22:01:04

Good advice Charleygirl; my best friend had her first carpal tunnel OP performed by a specialist surgeon and the results were excellent and long lasting. But when she had her other hand done for the same thing, it was done by a general orthopaedic surgeon and it's never been right since.

Marydoll Tue 30-Jun-20 22:05:32

I had a number of ultrasounds to confirm the condition.

Charleygirl, is spot on!
Mine was done by a plastic surgeon, after my rheumatologist referred me to him, when the injections didn't work.

KerryS Tue 07-Jul-20 12:00:22

I had both my hands operated on a couple of years ago, following the injection which didn’t work. My right arm would often go totally numb right up to the shoulder, so after the injection, they did some tests where they sent ‘shocks’ up through my finger to get a reaction further up my arm, and as suspected my right arm was far less reactive. This was not at all painful, just really weird sensations! (Sorry, I’m not scientific, so don’t know how to describe this procedure!!) However, both arms needed surgery. Within 3 months, they did my right arm – the results were fantastic, as was the recovery, I didn’t even need painkillers afterwards, and I’ve had no trouble at all since, absolutely well worth it. I had my left arm done 6 months later, not quite so good, in that it was far more painful afterwards, and didn’t mend so quickly or easily. Having said that, all was perfectly well within 3 months. I did ask the surgeon at my check up why this might have been, and he said there had been studies done, and the conclusion was that it did not appear relevant which hand recovered faster according to whether you were right or left handed, or which one they operated on first, it was just random, but always one recovered better than the other. I was going through a huge amount of stress at the time of the 2nd op, so maybe that made a difference, I don’t know. He also said that they used to operate on both hands at the same time, and that had the same outcome, but they stopped because it wasn’t practical – I had enough trouble doing things one-handed as it was! Make sure you have elasticated trousers and don’t wear anything you can’t do up one-handed!! And avoid peeling potatoes and buttering bread – not easy with one hand. It’s only for 2 or 3 days anyway, then you can put more pressure on the bandaged hand anyway. I made a few casseroles in advance and put in the freezer and made sure the house was clean and the beds remade, so that I knew I didn’t have to do anything for a few days. Good luck, it’ll be worth it! Incidentally, my husband has had a problem (totally unrelated to this!) which he has avoided going to the doctor about because of the situation, but our doctor is now seeing him this week, so go to your surgery - and be confident in saying what you need!

ExD Tue 07-Jul-20 17:27:34

Today I had a long talk with my GP and he says he will NOT go ahead with the steroid injection at the moment because of the decrease in immunity following this procedure. I have to keep enquiring ^ 'every few weeks' ^ (his quote).
So it seems I must continue to make a nuisance of myself until something is done.
In the meantime - and hints on how to manage a life that finds it difficult to fasten bra hooks or turn on the bathroom tap which is rather stiff?
Any recommended gadgets for openings tins, turning said taps, exercises, pain relief?

Marydoll Tue 07-Jul-20 19:44:30

ExD, do you have wrist splints? They are usually the first port of call. I was lucky (?) to be given mine by the RA physio. They are uncomfortable and cumbersome, but they do take some of the pressure off the median nerve. You have to wear it at night for at least four weeks. You can buy them online or from Boots the chemist.
I wore mine day and night for nearly a year, as there was a very long waiting list for surgery. 😢 On top of that I twice had nerve conduction tests.

Another tip I was given by the physio is to try and hold you arm straight above your head to help relieve the pain.
My husband used to waken up to see my lying with my arms above my head! grin

Also I was advised to use hot or cold packs and was also prescribed 10% Ibruprofen gel.

I also was given by gadgets by the occupational therapist to help with taps, jars etc.

I must warn you, it depends on the steroid being injected into the correct spot. Mine was done by ultra sound in hospital, so it hit the correct spot. I had a number. Some worked, some didn't.

I hope you find some relief.

ExD Wed 08-Jul-20 11:25:42

Thank you, I already have splints and they have helped. Its difficult wearing them during the day because of all the hand washing and also household mess from preparing food and cleaning.
The tip about hands over head is useful, my doc recommended hanging my arms over the side of the bed but I can't say that helped.
To tell the truth I'm really pi**ed off with my surgery as I feel I'm being ignored. I haven't seen anyone face to face for over a year.
I also have routine eye injections for a leaking retinal vein and naturally these were stopped in March. My sight was going downhill fast and I asked at the surgery when the eye clinic was re-opening and they said not in the foreseeable future. Last week I happened upon a website called 'Sight UK' or something similar, and emailed them - they said the clinics had been running since April and they contacted them for me. I had a phone call from them the next day and re-started injections the day after (sounds horrible a needle in your eye, but to save my sight its well worth it). So my eyes are now getting attention again.
This corticosteroid injection will be done by my GP at the surgery, so I've no other contact to go to for advice. I'd feel happier having it done under ultra sound in a hospital.
I am 81 and get quite depressed as I think my Doc considers me Too Old to Save. I am considering changing surgeries but the alternative is a drive through a busy town and I don't want to have to do that every time I need an appt.
I shall order some tap turners today and get some ibuprofen gel too. I think you can get something to open jars too (I wish there was a gadget for changing the duvet cover!!) Thanks.