Two Carpal Tunnel Surgeries....Different Results

by Gary
(Atlanta, GA)

I had Capral Tunnel Syndrome in both wrists, the left being the worst. I had the Carpal Tunnel Surgery on my left wrist in June 2009.

Everything healed perfectly, no problems at all...back to normal.

In December 2009, I had my right wrist (my dominant hand) surgery. Same doctor, healing process the same, but am now having pain in a different area of my wrist than pre-surgery.

I have been unable to get my grip strength back and am experienceing a clicking on the right side of my right wrist and a sharp pain in that area when I try to pick something up or grip something.

The palm of my hand on that side of my hand continues to feel bruised...very tender to the touch. I went to physical therapy and my grip was at 35% in my right hand.

After a week of PT, I had to discontinue due to severe pain in the wrist and some swelling of my hand, enough that I couldn't get my ring on. The doctor gave me a shot in the area I am having the pain and told me to come back in six weeks.

It's been five weeks now and it has not improved at all.

I go back to see him next week.

What could this possibly be?


Joshua Answers:

Hi Gary.

Well, one out of two ain't bad.....

Still, the one sounds pretty bad.

One possibility is that the surgery on the right side either caused more damage than your body could heal, it did something funky that your body is responding to. Essentially, surgery is physical trauma to the structures, and the nervous system doesn't like that.

So something might have gotten messed up in there.

That's my first thought. It's like the surgeon will want to go in there again to 'clean things up'.

Potentially there is some nutritional deficiency at play that wasn't so much an issue for the first one. (Pain, drugs, extra tightness, inflammation, etc, all pull out/use up nutrients).

Read my Magnesium for Tendonitis page, and make sure to follow the Magnesium Dosage link at the bottom for dosage and kind of magnesium.

Answer the following questions, then I'll have a more educated response:

1. How far away, how different, are these symptoms compared to pre-surgery?

2. If you Ice Dip as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page for a couple days, what are the results? (Do at least 20 dips/day.)

3. Is there any visible bruising? Does the palm feel like a bruise, or is it just tender, if you can tell the difference.

4. Numbness and tingling? Different than before? Same? Gone? Worse?

5. Describe the experience of the 'weakness'. Like, when you grip, does it hurt, or is it painless but literally less strength? Pay attention to it, and please describe in detail.

6. Does something like Ibuprofen dull the pain?

7. Does it hurt all the time, or just when you press on it, or use it, or? When you sleep, etc. Details.

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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