Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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CRPSpatient
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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 4/12/2011 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all.

I've been getting pain, numbness, etc., in my hands for a while now and on Monday my doctor diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome. He hasn't referred me for a nerve conduction study at this stage because I'm also going through a bit of a hypersensitivity flare with my CRPS and we're both a bit worried that the NCS would push things over the edge, but my symptoms and his exam the other day were pretty definitive. On and off though - and I think when the CTS symptoms are worse - I'm also getting pain that radiates up my forearms and a deep ache in my shoulder. I've got CRPS in those areas well, but it doesn't feel like CRPS pain.

I know that a few of you here have CTS - is it possible to get other arm pains and even shoulder pain or is it always confined to the hands? I've also got central sensitisation thanks to the CRPS, so I don't know how much is CT, how much is amplified pain, etc.

Laura
CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 4/12/2011 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   
No, the pain is not limited to the hands, it can involve the arms and shoulder and in some cases neck pain. One thing I would like to suggest is to have your dr ref you to a medical supply place and be fitted with braces for both hands if its in both hands. They really do help and it can sometimes if caught early enough avoid a surgery. All the dr has to do is on a prescription pad write bracing for bilateral CT syndrome. I have braces that I sleep in and let me tell you the mornings were the very worst for me, my hands felt like they were numb and I had no use when I first woke up but could still feel the pain. Your insurance may pay for the braces but then they are not that expensive if insurance will not pay.

Good luck.
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CRPSpatient
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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 4/12/2011 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Straydog. I have a referral for the braces already - and an appointment for early next week to have them fitted. You are right about mornings being the worst - I don't sleep much, but I tend to curl/clench my hands when I'm asleep and like you I'm waking up with no use in them. That's a double blow for me because even best case scenario for me is that I need crutches and I'm finding that the position my hands are in for my crutches is a trigger - even though my crutches are about the most ergonomic there are - and I'm finding I can't grip the rims on my wheelchair either :(
CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

Blessedx8
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 4/12/2011 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Laura,

Sorry you are also dealing w/ CTS... I have it, too, and it's very painful.  Like Susie said....braces are a good thing and mornings are the worst.  No, it's not just confined to the hands - it can run up the wrists/arms, etc.  I just cortisone injections in my hands last week.  You can only do this on a limited basis, but it does help give me some relief at times.  I've chosen not to do the surgery for various reasons.
 
There's a simple test that "can" indicate carpal tunnel syndrome.  I'm too tired to describe it... but it's called the "phalen's test" if you google it. 
 
Take good care, Laura.... --Tina
Many, many health and pain issues.
Many meds - including Atenolol, Effexor, MS Contin, Dilaudid, Actiq (oral Fentanyl), Soma, Vitamin D, Iron (for anemia), Synthroid...and on the list goes.
Personal: I'm a Christian wife and mother; I have six sons and identical twin daughters.

CRPSpatient
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 4/12/2011 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Tina - my doctor did the Phalen's test and Tinel's test - both positive. I don't want to touch surgery - or even the cortisone injections - if I can avoid it, so hoping the braces work!
CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

MsBunky
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 4/13/2011 12:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Question for you CRPSpatient - you said you are using the most ergonomic crutches out there - have you tried Millenium crutches? Here is a link you might want to check...I have no idea if these would be helpful to you or not, but I wanted to share the information, just in case.

Link is here: http://www.millennialmedical.com/

As for the pain and numbness, I have CTS as well, and have noticed a lot of arm numbness and tingling - both arms, from the hands to the neck. I've also got shooting pain going down my left arm when I tilt my head back. I am waiting for an app't for the nerve conduction tests, but I can't tell what is pain from CTS and what is pain from every other dang thing I have that hurts.

I hope that you are able to get both answers and relief. Be gentle with yourself.

Hugs,
Pam
DX: Fibromyalgia, Severe Myofascial Pain, Osteoarthritis in Hips and Lower Back, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Surgical Adhesions, IBS, IC-PBS, Carpal Tunnel (both wrists), FAI, Type 2 Diabetes, Reynauds, Visual Migraines, Drug Related Hot Flashes, Hard Start for IV's, Unable to vomit due to surgery.

Meds: Oxycontin, Tramadol, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Cesamet, Flexeril

CRPSpatient
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 4/13/2011 2:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Pam - have never actually seen the millennial crutches - not sure if they're available here or not. I use Kowskys - they seem to be pretty similar in terms of grips and the like. Is only for very short distances though in any case - we're talking maybe 5-10m at a time maximum.

I'm sorry for your pain - it sure is hard sometimes to know what condition is causing what pain.

Laura
CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

Pete trips again!
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 4/13/2011 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Laura, So sorry to hear you have it too! I was rediognosed a couple of weeks ago w/ sever C/T in both hands. My first diognoses was over 10 years ago!! Not sure what the test was called but it involved a machine and lots of needle holes in my hands and arms. I also have cervical problems w/ a failed fusion which the Doc said also caused nerve damage in my arms. So now I'm not sure if the pain is coming from my neck down or my hands up so I can't help you out w/ if the C/P goes up that far! My hands have been so bad trying to do my everyday chores that I haven't been able to type on my p/c and haven't been here on the Forum in a while! So sorry, I miss posting here so much! My hands are on fire all day evan w/ using the braces at night! I really hate this the most of all my health problems! I can't evan fish very much anymore which is like the worst possable thing that could happen to me! Carpel Tunnel sucks!!! All for now>
Love All Y'all!!!
Pete
PS> I've got varmits in my garden and am at all out war with dem buggers!!!!!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 4/13/2011 11:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Laura you are so right, so many things mimics other health conditions and it really can be a long drawn out affair to find out what is wrong with a person. Back in the early 90's, I was having severe neck and right shoulder pain. I was seeing an excellent neurologist he was also treating my migraines. After nearly a year of every test known to mankind it seemed like, he sent me for an MRI of my right shoulder because I had pretty much lost use of my right hand, could not raise my arm, hold a blow dryer, shift gears on my car and had to trade it in for an automatic, it was awful. All this time the dr kept thinking it was coming from my neck. The MRI showed that I had impingement of the right shoulder and some other stuff from a motorcycle accident. Once we knew what was wrong then he was able to treat the shoulder problem. But, until I got the shoulder dx life was rotten, lol.

I do hope the bracing will help you. Let us know.
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