Carpal Tunnel Surgery April 2010, wonderful at first now SEVERE pain and burning

by Jeanette B
(Chehalis, WA)

I had carpal tunnel surgery in April of 2010. My wrist felt wonderful after the surgery until about 5 months ago. If I would twist it a certain way, like to take a lid off of a jar, I would get a sharp jabbing pain. In October I was doing a lot of pruning one day and that night I didn't sleep. The pain on a scale of 1-10 was a 10. It swelled up including all fingers, ring finger burned very badly, joints in smallest 3 fingers were very painful.

I went to Orthopedic Dr. and blood test ruled out arthritis, nerve conduction study ruled out carpal tunnel coming back, x-rays were good, ruled out gout, but MRI showed large amount of fluid build up in the carpal tunnel sheath.

Prednisone helped temporarily, cortizone shot made me a new woman for about 1 month, now all is coming back. If I do not use it much, it seems to be OK but if I slice, dice, chop, clean house or anything that requires much use, then during the night and the next day, especially in the morning, it kills me.

I cannot use it to squeeze toothpaste tube, depress hairspray nozzle, scrub body, or anything! Even typing this is very painful. I am a 61 year old woman and need to be able to do these things!! Ice, heat, ibuprofen, elevation, splits, NOTHING helps except not to use it!

Can anyone help!!! Would not using it for 4 months help? I am a VERY active 61 year old and like to cook, paint, do woodworking, etc. etc.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Jeanette.

Thanks for all the details, that helps a lot.

Yes, you SHOULD be able to be active without pain. Let move you in that direction.

Ok, so, you had surgery, was much better for most of a year, and then with normal daily activities, you suddenly had significant pain symptoms and problem.

Tests showed no arthritis, nerve impingement, gout, etc. Great.

You tried Wrist splints and braces, Corticosteroid Injections, heat, ice packs, and Rest (All things, which by the way, don't work.)

But you still have pain, and fluid buildup in the carpal tunnel area.

Why is that, you may ask?

Because, you still have the SAME problems you had BEFORE the Carpal Tunnel surgery.

Carpal Tunnel release surgery doesn't fix ANY of the problems that -cause- CTS.

So the same factors; nutritional deficiency, increasing muscle tightness, increasing connective tissue tightness, a Process of Inflammation, a defensive nervous system, etc are STILL in place, and ultimately made worse by the injury and insult of surgery.

So, what to do about it?

Don't ice. Learn how to Ice Dip. Learn How To Reduce Inflammation

You need to A. get that fluid out of there and B. keep that fluid out of there.

That fluid keeps building up because there is inflammation which traps fluid in the area (and releases chemical that enhances your sensitivity to pain) and tissue is TOO TIGHT and thus has too much torque on it and is sending 'danger!' signal to the brain which then tries to protect you.

The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works wouldn't be a bad option either, for a complete plan of attack.

More questions, more answers.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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