Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Carpal tunnel surgery

  1. #1
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Coastal Virginia
    Posts
    1,569

    Question Carpal tunnel surgery

    I'm 29 years post SCI & pushing a manual chair. My doctor did a carpal tunnel test the other day. the results went off the charts w/ severe carpal tunnel. I suspected I had the condition and long thought pain and lack of sensation ( numbness) could be my guide with surgery as a last resort.

    I do have more shooting pain than I have had in years past and other syptoms which I attribute to age , length of injury , etc.

    My questions and concerns:
    My physiatrist feels it is important to make plans for a surgery. Suggests I go to a power chair and other measures. Recovery would be totally dependent on aid for transfers , personal care, etc.

    I am no where near being able to do that presently. costs, equipment, home mods, etc. It's me, the dog and I get around pretty good for an old geezer.

    I thought I could just let pain be my guide with it in the past. Now she has told me if it's not tended to I can / will loose function even if I wait too long with surgery, most of what I am reading seems to concur.

    Has anyone had surgery to repair carpal tunnel? How long on the recovery before you could use hands / wrist ? would you recommend? any regrets?

    Thanks in advance for any opinions and advice.
    Paul

  2. #2
    Hi Ches
    I dont have a lot to offer, except, while your healing, how about using power assist wheels for temporary help? u barely have to touch them. Unless your severe carpal tunnel, I've known people to heal rather quickly......

    Hope otherwise your doing well & a big hello to the pup!

  3. #3
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Coastal Virginia
    Posts
    1,569
    Quote Originally Posted by Lizbv
    Hi Ches
    I dont have a lot to offer, except, while your healing, how about using power assist wheels for temporary help? u barely have to touch them. Unless your severe carpal tunnel, I've known people to heal rather quickly......

    Hope otherwise your doing well & a big hello to the pup!
    Hey Lizbv,

    Wheels are a good idea , thanks.

    Hope you are enjoying a great summer. give a nuzzle to Mr. T from us Virginians :0
    Paul

  4. #4

    Btdt

    Hi Ches, I have had the surgery twice on the same hand. Once orthoscopic and once open decompression along with other arm surgery at the same time.
    The second open decompression would not be a good example. I did recover faster than I had expected and the relief was tremendous. I would do 1 wrist at a time if you can't get assistance. First surgery I had no hand therapy afterwards with great results. The reason I had the second surgery was I had my arm crushed, not due to failure of the 1st surgery. Contact me if you want more info.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  5. #5
    We do not allow any weight bearing (including transfers using your hands, long sitting in bed, push-up weight shifts, pushing a manual wheelchair at all, etc.) for 6 weeks after CTS surgery.

    This means power chair only (no power assist manual even), dependent mechanical lifts for all transfers, dependent dressing and other ADLs that require you to do much with your hands (you can feed yourself and groom yourself still).

    If you cannot have someone stay with you and help you with this, you may need to have a temporary nursing home stay. If you put weight on your hands too soon, you can undo all the surgery benefits and actually end up worse off.

    Once you are allowed to start using your hands more, but still not weight bearing you might be able to get a short acute rehab stay (perhaps up to 2 weeks), but you definitely need to work with an OT who is quite experienced in hand therapy.

    You also need to look at changing how you use your hands after your recovery, as continuing to push, transfer, do weight shifts, etc. the same way can make the CTS reoccur.

    Sometimes it is best to have one hand done at a time instead of both at the same time, but this does put you through all of this twice.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Its good to be prepared for the worst case scenario, but my experience ws not that bad.

    I'm a para and I was about 25 yrs post when I had the surgery. At that time I used a manual chair and didn't switch to power until several years later after some shoulder surgery. So I still used the manual afterwards. I never needed a lift to transfer in and out of bed, and since I didn't have a van at the time, I didn't leave home much for a couple of weeks.

    I had to convince my doctor to do both hands at the same time, because whatever limitations I had, I didn't want to experience them twice. To me, one bad hand is almost as bad as two when it comes to transfers. Also, since I'm married I knew I'd have someone to help out with a few things.

    I had a small incision made on each hand from approximately the middle of my wrist and about 1 1/2" to 2" up toward my palm. Both were closed with stitches. It was done as an outpatient, so I still wasn't feeling much pain by the time I got home. It was a struggle getting into bed and I stayed in bed a couple days, but I was back up in my manual chair after that.

    To transfer I would have my wife steady my chair. I would make a fist and then press down on the mattress or other solid surface and lift myself just enough to scoot into my chair or into bed. My wife would help sometimes by grabbing my belt and pulling. I wheeled my chair by pushing in on the wheels and handrims with my open hand. I had to be careful, and I wasn't going anywhere fast, but I could move around enough.

    I know I paint a pretty rosey picture compared to others, but that was my experience. I was off work for two weeks and by then I was even transferring into my car and out.

    I would be naive to think that no one would have more problems than I encountered, so I think you should at least make plans otherwise as KLD suggested. If your recovery time is fast, you won't be out anything by doing so.

    It took a couple months before most of the pain was gone, but I'm glad I had it done. I can feel now in my fingertips and don't have the numbness and pain in my arms or hands. I'm 36+ yrs post now.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Coastal Virginia
    Posts
    1,569
    Thanks to everyone for helpful advice and sharing personal experiences. It will help me in ultimatly making decisions on course of action.

    Paul

Similar Threads

  1. SMALL STEPS TOWARD GOAL.
    By manouli in forum Cure
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-10-2005, 01:03 PM
  2. Reference on carbon cages for spine surgery
    By Wise Young in forum Care
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-27-2003, 11:37 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-15-2002, 02:19 PM
  4. Low-Dose Radiation to Prevent Complications of Back Surgery
    By Wise Young in forum Clinical Trials
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-06-2001, 08:47 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •