Wrist Tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel after Cervical Surgery?

by Mercy Hernandez
(Miami, FL)

I am a 42 year old female who was recently diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome after years of wrist/arm pain.

I did undergo an EMG, which was positive. The hand doctor recommended surgery and I'm just afraid that it might be something else similar since the nerve that runs down the arm is connected with so many other parts (neck, shoulder, etc.).

I had had shoulder pain two years ago and underwent arthroscopic surgery. I didn't have a tear. Now, recently, i am having similar pain with the shoulder in conjunction with wrist pain.

I also had C5-6 cervical spine surgery in 2002, and I understand that the discs in that area control the nerves going down the arm and into the hand.

So, i have all these factors and not sure what is causing my arm pain. Could it be an impinged nerve in my neck or shoulder?

Again, the EMG was positive, and I am having trouble opening jars, typing, writing and I do feel pain in my hand/thumb, but is it enough to warrant surgery? Just don't want to go through all that if the pain is mainly caused by something else like my shoulder/neck.

When I move my arm up and to the side and don't feel any pain. When I press on my shoulder or anywhere down my arm down up to my wrist, the pain goes away which leads me to believe it is nerve related. My shoulder is also making a crackling sound when I rotate/roll it back and seems to find relief when I do that.

I have tried icing the shoulder and that seems to help. I also ice my wrist and that seems to help, but only because i am putting pressure on the hand. I have worn a hand splint to sleep and work for the past two years. It did help for a while, but it doesn't seem to be working any more. I have to practically put it so tight it cuts my circulation off.

Does carpal tunnel cause pain up to the shoulder as well?


Joshua Answers:

Hi Mercy.

I'm going to keep this short as you didn't leave your email address for notification and don't know if you will find this.

1. It makes sense that your Wrist splints and braces stopped 'working'. They're good for the short term, but not the long term.

2. Yes, Carpal Tunnel can cause pain and other symptoms to go UP the arm.

3. If you've had shoulder problems, -and- cervical surgery, then I'm 100% not surprised that you have numbness and pain down in your forearm/wrist/hand.

The hose of the nerve gets stepped on up at the neck and shoulder, by way-too-tight muscles and connective tissue.

Carpal Tunnel surgery CAN'T help your pain and problem if it's coming from up at the shoulder, chest, and neck.

Much of the dynamic of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendonitis in general comes from areas other than just the spot that hurts.

4. Which isn't to say that you have true Carpal Tunnel, but I'd put my money on you needing good targeted work up at the neck and shoulder, and nutrition like Magnesium for Tendonitis.

Let me know if you find this, we can talk more.

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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