Finally an answer on my hand pain!

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Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
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   Posted 10/2/2010 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,
Sorry I've been slack about posting again.  These darned hands are just not cooperating with me!
Anyway, after doing all the blood test and x-rays (and getting virtually nothing), the reumy sent me to a neurologist who specializes in nerve conduction studies for a very detailed testing of my hands and arms.  I don't have the "formal" results yet, but the Neuro told me that out of a possible 0-4 range of carpal tunnel damage, I am over 3 in both hands and the left is worse than the right.  Surgery is essential and he wants me to make positive sure that I get a really good surgeon who specializes in hands and (in his words) "can do this surgery in his sleep".  There is concern that the nerve damage may be permanent in some areas, but I won't know all the details until I get the actual report in hand.
The Dr. gave me the names of a couple of good surgeons and it turns out they both work in the same practice as the spine specialist that just figured out what was causing the intense spine pain.  The Nerve Conduction Study HURT like crazy, and I thought surely the needles would be easier than the electricity, but he had to do so many deep muscle "sticks" to get the results that I thought I was going to faint.  He even had to do my neck on the left side because that hand and arm are so bad.  Thankfully there did not seem to be problems in the neck that he could tell. 
They will be sending my reports out on Monday and I'm going to have them send one to me too (for my records and to fax over to my other dr's myself).  This way I can be sure everybody gets a copy of what they need!  So it's off to surgery AGAIN!  I have my follow-up from my bladder surgery this week and two other Dr. Apts too.  It should be a busy time for a while.
Has anybody here ever asked for both hands to be done at once and if so, did you have good results?  I want everything over as soon as possible because I'll very soon have to be driving my step-father to have radiation treatments for prostate cancer.  They are building on to my house (a mother-in-law to speak) ASAP.  I need my surgery done soon so my hands can heal and I can drive him.  They will probably live here while he is undergoing the radiation, but don't need to be directly around my daughter, so this is the best thing.  I'm sure they will go home a few days a week, but I expect daily company for at least three months....and the drive is over an hour each way (after taking my daughter to school.  I have to be back by 3 to pick her up, so we'll really have a hard time, but I do love them and it's worth it for my mother and my step-father.
This is yet another example of things happening for a reason.  If I were still working, there would be nonone to help them with this situation.  He helps me by driving me when I need it and now will be my turn to return the favor.  You never know when the shoe will be on the other foot.
Retired Mom

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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 10/2/2010 8:09 PM (GMT -6)   
My experience with the nerve conduction test is that it only hurt where the damage was. When she did my left hand (good hand as a control) it did not hurt and I was sort of facinated by the whole thing. Then she did the right and it really hurt. I had a nerve compression syndrome.

I hope you can find a good surgeon and that you recover quickly.

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 10/2/2010 9:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow sjkly, thanks for the information!

If it only hurts where the damage is, I'm in BIG trouble! That was honestly the most painful test I have ever had done. It was about like having a nerve ablation (I can't have the numbing spray) or having an injection into the heal of your foot. I didn't expect that much pain because I've had friends do it and they said it wasn't that bad. I had taken two ultracet that morning and my xanax xr 3mg before the test. I can't even imagine how bad it would have been without that. I'm so sore from it....especially just below the thumbs on the pad of the hands.

I appreciate the information!
Retired Mom

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16757
   Posted 10/3/2010 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
RM I am glad you finally have an answer to the hands. I do hope they can do the surgery and there not be any permanent damage. Kudos to your dr for recommending a dr that specializes in hands that is very important with CT surgery. I have had friends go both ways and the ones that used the guy that did hands only had much better results. I would not have both hands done at the same time though. You need to keep one hand freed up so to speak. It does take several weeks for the hands to heal and longer for the inside work, another reason not to have both done at the same time. Everyone I know that did both at the same time, later said what was I thinking, I was useless not having one hand to work with.

I have bilateral CT and ulnar nerve entrapment and there is just way too much permanent nerve damage to do surgery it's out of question for me. Yes, the EMG test was very painful for me. I thought I would jump out of my skin. Good luck with your hand dr.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 10/3/2010 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I had a friend who had both hands done for carpel tunnel, at the same time, you'll need help for
about a week, maybe 2, after 1 year she's doing so much better now and you can't see any scars...
yes make sure it's a very very good doctor...
good luck and keep us posted...
I think she had physical therapy for 6 weeks as well...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 10/3/2010 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm so happy that you finally have some answers & that something can be done to (hopefully) reduce your hand pain for good! Definitely seek a second opinion with a hand surgeon, but it sounds like you are on your way! Keep us posted!

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