Numbness after Carpal Tunnel Surgery, ZING during

by Debra
(Lees Summit, MO)

I had Carpal Tunnel surgery January 22, 2010. I still do not have feeling in my middle finger and insides (toward middle finger) of my ring and index fingers.

I had a Bier Block and was awake during the surgery.

While the Dr was performing the surgery I felt what I would call an extremely painful ZING through and to the ends of my middle 3 fingers.

I am scheduled to return to have nerve testing done at the end of May if feeling has still not returned.

Could the ZING I experienced have anything to do with the numbness?

I am concerned that the feeling will not return.

Thank you.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Debra.

Well, the zing could have been from a few things.

1. The surgeon nicked a nerve.

2. The nervous system, for various reasons, sent out an electrical charge. It's all electric/chemical.

3. Due to the damage that was happening from the surgery, and the confusion caused by the nerve block, there was an instantaneous muscle spasm, like a twitch, but more like an electrical twitch.

Bad news if the surgeon nicked the nerve. Nothing to be done about that but suffer.

If that's not the case, then I wouldn't worry about the ZING.

I would worry about the doctors wanting to do another surgery because the first one wasn't successful.

What if that numbness is
from up at the elbow, or neck/shoulder/chest? Surgery at the wrist isn't going to help that.

What if your symptoms are from Inflammation That Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency, or Vitamin B12 deficiency, which causes nerve issue?

What if you have tight structures other than the specific spot where they did surgery? It's all part of the Tendonitis dynamic, and absolutely includes a Pain Causing Dynamic of progressive tightness and inflammation.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

What if the scar tissue from the surgery is 'knitting' everything together and making it tighter?

I'm not really sure if I answered your question/dealt with you concern. Let me know if not, or if you have any further questions.

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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Sep 17, 2016
No relief from carpal tunnel surgery
by: Jill

I recently had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand.

My main symptom with the carpal tunnel was numbness in index, middle, and thumb and had trouble doing things that required twisting motion, like opening a gallon of milk.

I was told my hand would retain some numbness after surgery due to the nerve blocker they injected prior to surgery.

It's now been two weeks since surgery and while the nerve blocker has worn off, my fingers are as numb as they were before the surgery (very slight improvement in index finger).

How long does it take before I start to feel the beneficial effects of the surgery?

I'm starting to think I went through all that for nothing.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jill.

Possible reasons that you still have numbness after the carpal tunnel surgery, etc, in no particular order:

1. The surgery didn't remove the constrictive connective tissue on the nerve, and thus it's still compressed.

2. The surgery did remove the constrictive connective tissue, but there is still a lot of local swelling that is pressing on the nerve.

3. Some combination of 1 and 2.

4. Your numbness isn't coming from where they did surgery, but is coming from higher up the arm and/or chest/shoulder/neck area.

5. Your numbness isn't from a compressed nerve, it's from nutritional insufficiency/deficiency.

Having said all that, it's not uncommon for swelling to continue to cause numbness.

And if the nerve has been compressed for a long time, it can take some time to 'get the water flowing through the hose again' even if the surgeon did a good job.

Sep 07, 2012
Enlighten Me
by: Anonymous

"They also told you the nerve was dying....which when you look at their track record you may want to reconsider the truth of that."

Please enlighten me. As I flew to Colorado and met with a numerologist. His comment was "Carpal Tunnel does not occur overnight Like yours did."


Joshua Comments:

1. You met with a numerologist? In the context of carpal tunnel symptoms?

2. True. Carpal tunnel doesn't develop over night. Which is DISTINCTLY different than not having symptoms one day but having them the next. That's not uncommon.

So...enlighten you on what, exactly? That whole paragraph didn't flow so well for my linear mind.

Sep 05, 2012
Dying medium nerve
by: Dying Arms

These symptoms are exactly what I have. numbness, loss of motor control, muscle atrophy in both Thumb muscles (bad).

Was also told eventually i wont be-able to zip my zipper or button my pants. And no surgeries are scheduled and will not be scheduled as I am fed up with the Doctor's that tell you they can fix you. and they do not. While the patient just continues to get worse.

Ive done everything the doctors have told me to do. EVERYTHING. Four plus years now.


Joshua Comments:

They also told you the nerve was dying....which when you look at their track record you may want to reconsider the truth of that.

Sep 01, 2012
Head & Neck Injury
by: Anonymous

I had a head and neck injury 3 yrs ago! pain started in neck,shoulders & mid back the next day. 3,4,5 was unbareable and ever since. EMG tests showed carpel tunnel in arms and extremely tight muscles in neck. and i read up on tendonitis, and the symptons, it just all makes sense.

i have on going infections, dizziness, off balance, and my hips on down is effected. this has been a slow progressive condiction. old symptons are worse, and new symptons have arose. i have disc protusion @ c-5 6 & c-7 degeneritive disc diease, inpingement but not yet stenosis. i don't understand when does one need surgery when all nerves are damaged.

i have already been through therapy, chiropractic help. it has effected me motionally and phyiscally how much more can one take.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonyneck.

The nerves (probably) aren't injured. They're just being compressed.

You have ongoing infections? What kind?

You have high magnesium needs. See: Magnesium For Tendonitis

Aug 22, 2012
Joshua Replies to Dying Arms: Electric, pain, numbness, tendon release
by: The Tendonitis Expert

So your doctors cut into you instead of simply getting your muscles to relax, thus releasing the tension on the tendons.

So. Your main question is, 'is my nerve dying'?

Almost certainly not.

For the nerve to die, it would have to be severed completely, or very nearly so.

I would ask that doctor exactly why he thinks the nerve is dying. Does he want to do another surgery for it??

Also, google around a little bit. If the nerve was actually dying, it's my belief that you'd be having more severe nerve damage symptoms; numbness, loss of motor control, muscle atrophy, etc etc, on a bigger scale than you're currently experiencing.

This might be a good time for us to have a Phone Consultation.

You're now pretty jacked up from all the surgeries. Maybe all you need is to correct any nutritional issues and that will reduce symptoms. You definitely DO need to supplement nutritionally to support your muscle and nerve function, as surgeries etc have increased your requirements.

You need to do that anyway, and we'll see what the results are. But it's necessary.

You also have a chronic Process of Inflammation in place, that's certainly not helping.

You got a lot going on in there. PROBABLY you can reduce the symptoms significantly. But if the surgeries have nicked the nerve, cut the nerve, repeatedly nicked/cut the nerve, if scar tissue is building up and compressing the nerve(s), etc.....there's just no way of knowing an outcome right now. There's just some smart things to do to try and help, and see what happens, and fine tune along the way.

Aug 21, 2012
Electric, pain, numbness, tendon release
by: Dying Arms

The Tendonitis Expert 08-21-2012

Hope you can enlighten me. I Had Carpal Tunnel release 4 years ago on L. hand and 1 yr. on R. hand.

In addition I have had tendon releases surgery 4 times on both hands and a total of ten surgeries on both hands and arms.

My fingers on both hands are numb. It affects the thumb, index, middle, and half the ring finger on both hands. However even though I have a numb feeling to the touch I get a tremendous sharp electric shock that follows the arm to the base of the thumb and on to the middle finger as I reach for something. Occurs on both hands during use!

The worse pain occurs at any moment and the hands actually feel like they are on fire. Ill raise both arms above heart take a pain pill and hope within 20 min I can get some relief.

Once this occurs my hands are extremely sensitive for 4 to 5 days and can barely use them. Numb, a lot of electrical pain, and fire, hot feeling.

I had a neurologist tell me my Median Never is dying in both hands. Is this possible? Do you have any ideas for helping me with my hands? Need additional questions answered no problem.
I have all my EMG reports on both hands, arms, neck MRI’s, x-rays, etc.
Before surgery and after surgery etc. and they still say Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Can you guide me somewhere for help or give me any advice. This is driving me nuts.
Dying Arms


Joshua Comments:

Hi DA.

First off, PLEASE STOP HAVING SURGERIES. If the first 5 didn't work, another 5 aren't likely to. Another 5 definitely won't.

Surgeries cause damage to the body. The hope is they help more than they hurt.

Such is not the case with you.

Every surgery puts a sharp object in very close proximity to your nerves. Scar tissue forms which pulls tissue together, and can press out onto various structures.

And that's all assuming that there was something going on that surgery could actually help with.

Were the Carpal Tunnel Symptoms from nutritional insufficiency/deficiency? Carpal Tunnel surgery can't help/fix that. See: Carpal Tunnel and Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Is there compression of the nerve that feeds the arm (Brachial Plexus) up at the neck/chest/shoulder? Wrist surgery obviously can't help with that.

'Tendon release' surgery happens on the belief that there's a problem with a tendon. But tendons don't 'get tight'. Tendons are cables. They are only tight if the muscles connected to them contract and pull on them.

Feb 23, 2012
Latest update
by: Anonymous

Hello Joshua. Since the 3rd surgery with the graft in Dec 2010 I have been progressing through therapy and taking nerve meds.

The pain is still extreme at some times but other times it is just painful when touched. The 3 fingers are numb and I feel like the middle finger is a huge sausage.

My Dr feels that the pain will go away with the 2 year period which is Dec of 2012. I am looking forward to that day. At that time the pain will be gone and it will only be numb.

I have lost a lot of use of the hand but am learning to do things in a different way.

Thank you for taking the time to advise and provide guidance and knowledge.


Joshua Comments:

Thanks for the update.

Yes, let's see what happens by December. Why exactly does your doctor think the problem will resolve by December?

Nov 13, 2011
Numbness 4 weeks after surgery
by: Von

I had nerve studies(3) done on my right hand. These indicated that it was getting worse. I my fingers would get numb when working (drywall taping, texturing, concrete work. The numbness would go away when resting my hand. After I had the surgery, I was told I could continue my normal work gradually after 4 weeks.

I started light and that is when my middle finger(palm side), my thumb(palm side), and the third finger from my thumb (palm side,off to the side toward my thumb) started getting numb and progressed down to the palm. I also have jolting pain shooting through those three fingers now. The bottom line is, I am worse after the surgery.

I am presently having physical therapy. The docter says sometimes this happens and he does not need to see me anymore. I am afraid this will be permanent. Well is it? Von


Joshua Comments:

Hi Von.

Sorry to hear about the increase in symptoms.

What the doctor actually said was "Sorry I made things worse, but if my hack job didn't help you, there's no other tool in my toolbox that can help you, and don't tell anybody, but I have no idea what's wrong with you or how to fix it."

Granted that's paraphrased just a little bit...

So. Is it permanent? It's only permanent -if- A. the nerve was nicked or B. you don't do anything beneficial to reverse the dynamic.

Here's some things to think about:

1. Much of/most of Carpal Tunnel Symptoms come from tightness/constriction up at the neck and front of chest/shoulder.

2. When you lift your arms up from your sides, that contracts and constricts the neck/chest/shoulder muscles and compresses the nerve.

Thus, when you were resting symptoms went away.

3. It's entirely likely that there wasn't a single thing wrong with your wrist or carpal tunnel. Surgery not only didn't deal with the cause of your Carpal Tunnel Symptoms but it also created new injury and problem.

That's entirely common, unfortunately.

So. What now? I suggest that you get my Reversing Whiplash ebook.

Also, learn How To Reduce Inflammation. Meaning, ice dipping your forearms/hands as instructed.

You may want to get Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook too, but first things first.

Ice Dip as described and open up the neck/chest/shoulder constriction.

Let me know what happens after a good 7-10 days of ice dipping (should notice results after a day or two).

More questions, more answers.

Apr 06, 2011
Numbness after Carpal Tunnel Surgery
by: Jean

I had Carpal Tunnel surgery last May. Following surgery, my hand and arm were bandaged very tightly to the forearm with an Ace bandage. That night I experienced severe pain.

The next day I returned to my Dr. and he removed the bandage. My ring finger and middle finger was not numb before surgery but have been since. I am going to therapy 3 times a week but my therapist is very concerned much damage has been done.

Your suggestions and help would be appreciated,

Thank You very much, Jean


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jean.

It's not surprising you had severe pain, as you were cut into with a very sharp object.

If you didn't have numb fingers before the surgery, but you do now, that points to two options:

Option #1: The surgeon nicked or cut your nerve. That's bad.

Option #2. Since the surgeon was cutting so close to the nerve, s/he didn't cut the nerve itself, but the tissue around it is so inflamed, swollen, and unhappy, that it is compressing the nerve (or possibly the nerve itself is super irritated).

It's also possible that, long story short, your muscles and connective tissue, either at the wrist/forearm and/or up at the neck have tightened up from the trauma of surgery, and are now stepping on the hose of the nerve.

That numbness is either coming from the wrist/surgery site,, the forearm, or up at the neck.

Have you ever had numbness in those fingers before? At all?

Jan 28, 2011
Third surgery - Numbness after Carpal Tunnel Surgery, ZING during
by: Debra

Hello Joshua. I had a third surgery in December. The Dr performed a nerve graft taking a 4 inch nerve from my leg and grafting it into my hand. There were 2 pain issues. One of those was alleviated immediately and was recently told in a follow up visit that he believes the second issue will be gone within 2 years. That is the time it will take for the nerve to regenerate. I will start physical therapy in 3 months.

Thank you once again.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Debra.


Please do keep us updated.

Nov 18, 2010
Update - Numbness after Carpal Tunnel Surgery, ZING during
by: Debra

Joshua. I wanted to thank you for your comments a few months ago. Since that time it has been determined that the median nerve was struck and I am getting ready for a third surgery that will be a nerve graft. I have lost feeling in the middle finger and partially in the ring and index fingers.

The second surgery was to try to repair the nerve by sewing the ends together and that did not work and it was done by the original doctor. When that doctor told me there was nothing else he could do for me I went to another doctor that was referred to me by one of the physical therapist I saw.

Because of your comments I was able to suggest to the original doctor that a nerve had been struck. He admitted that that was what had happened.

Again, I just wanted to say thank you.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Debra.

Sometimes, the patient has to tell the doctor what's what!

Good luck with the nerve graft. Keep us updated.

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