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Anyone able to talk to me about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

(13 Posts)
mrsws Thu 14-Jul-11 20:23:24

Hi

Im 30 yo and this year I've developed carpal tunnel in both hands/wrists. Dr just said 'oh yes sounds like carpal tunnel. We will ref you to the hospital for wrist splints'. It took 2 months to get the referral (by which point i had bought some anyway as I couldnt sleep through the night. The hospital have told me to wear them as much as possible for 6 weeks and I should see some improvement. I'm not seeing any change sad

Feeling a bit fed up. I have 2 DC (3yr 10m DS and 8m DD) feel like i'm letting them down when I say 'I can't pick you up sweetie because mummies hands are sore' etc Really struggling to not use my hands. Not really sure what I should/should not be doing. I do know that I should not be on the computer and now only use it very occasionally. But due to return to work from Mat leave in 4 weeks time to an office job!

Anyone have any experiance of carpal tunnel? Anyone had physio for it? Anyone had release surgery?

I would be extremley greatful for any advice smile

Thank you! x

joruth Fri 15-Jul-11 14:09:47

Hi. Surprised (and disappointed) by the lack of GP interest in your condition...you are not pregnant I presume, no deforming problems with wrists? No diabetes? Arthritis?? Splints do help but it is unlikely to cure the underlying problem...2 options are steroid injection which can be done up to 3 times in 2 years and is easy, relatively painless and gets you back to normal in a few days if they work...will need to wear splints for a few days after the injection. Decompression can be done 2 ways either endoscopically ( relatively new and less good results at present) or a small operation which takes time to heal as skin is divided and then band of connective tissue that is pressing on your nerve causing the problem....longer to heal but definitive and permanent treatment. Suggest you go to a different GP in your practice and lay the inconvenience and problems with looking after children on the line...they really should refer you at least for the injection. Feeling frustrated with my colleagues!!!!!!!!

joruth Fri 15-Jul-11 14:10:37

PS Physio has never been an option that I have heard of though sometimes Physios fit the splints.

Good luck

curlykate99 Fri 15-Jul-11 19:58:38

Has your thyroid function been checked as well?

HeyYouJimmy Fri 15-Jul-11 22:29:10

Hi OP. I've been told I have possible carpal tunnel syndrome. My GP told me a quick and temporary remedy is to hold your wrist above your head for a few minutes and see how that feels. I was also advised not to lift anything heavy like a full kettle. Make sure it's filled to an amount you can comfortably lift (say 1/4 full for tea/coffee) without your hand going numb.

If you can, please ask for a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon/specialist to see what your options are for treatment.

mrsws Mon 25-Jul-11 01:34:19

Hi everyone - so sorry i have'nt been back on here. had so much on then fell ill to a mystery viarous! Completely forgot all about the message i had put up! Thank you for the replies... although you are proberbly bored of waiting for my response now.

I have been wearing the splints ALL the time which is horrible in the sunny weather as they are neoprene = hot sad

I have tried not to do anything wich seems to make them worse or if i can't avoid it as little as possible. Driving, lifting, gardening, walking the dog on the lead and using the computer for any periodto name a few. Hence lack of mumsnet. It seems to be helping me a bit. I have also recieved an appointment from the hospital telling me I have an appointment with the orthotic/surgical appliance team this wednesday. I actually think they have made the appointment by mistake as no one told me there would be a follow up appointment. However rather than cancel I thought I will go and at least I can ask more questions - they might even refer me to the right dept.

For those that mentioned diabetees - my sister and dad are both insulin dependant diabetics. I was checked whilst pregnant about 12 months ago with GTT but all clear. I take it there is a link??

My mum has hypothyroidism but as far as I know my thyroids are fine?

as for arthritas that is also in the family (guess im just lucky smile )

thanks again for the replies. I will see what the hospital say on wednesday then if they dont give me any joy i will go back to the doctors and see a diff GP.

Orbinator Mon 25-Jul-11 01:41:50

Am pg at the mo and really suffering with this so hope you can tell us something worked. Did it start in pg for you OP? I've heard it can take 11 weeks to go after pg but most cases do disappear. Hate the idea of not being able to undo my DD's nappies when she gets here sad My ankles also get v swollen which makes it hard to walk for the first 10 mins or so when I get up...not sure if that's connected but hoping that will go too.

Didn't realise there was a connection with thyroid - my grandma had thyroid issues before she died so I guess it is in the family. No one has asked about that whilst i've been pg and the MW's just said not to sleep on my hands hmm and to try to raise them where poss. My left hand has now also developed a clicky thumb which hurts to use as it seems to pop out of the joint at the base or something...I'm falling apart!!!

InFlames Mon 25-Jul-11 22:18:59

Had horrific CTS when pregnant due to preexisting diabetes. Had steriod inject in left when 31 weeks as splints only had v mild improvement and hands were totally numb most of time - wrists and arms were agony as were fingers. 16 weeks post birth right aide still having problems - steroid in that by GP few weeks ago. No prob in either now :-)

voodoomunkee Mon 25-Jul-11 22:32:59

Hiya, sorry, havent read all the posts. I have carpal tunnel. Now it is in my left hand but I have had it in both. I had a release op about a year and a half ago.

I wasnt actually sure what was the matter as the pain started in my elbows! It then moved to numbness and tingling and constant pins and needles in my fingers and hand. By this point I had been to the doctors and they had made a referral to the orthapedics at my local hospital. When seeing this consultant he offered me wrist splints, which I have to admit once they were shaped to the position of my hand and worn at night were supremely effective for the most part. I struggled to drive long distances, couldnt rely on my right hand to carry stuff - i.e plates of food etc - and dreaded nighttime which seemed to make it worse. The consultant on my 1st appointment also booked me in for elctro nerve tests. I am sure they have a different name but it evades me for the minute! This tested the nerve damage/restriction between my elbow and wrist. This determined my rather urgent (!) need for surgery.

I am currently pregnant and still havent had the release op on the other hand but it will definitely be on my to do list in the future!

The dr also said that there are many reasons we get it, pregnancy is certainly one, another is the amount of administrative work and the fact I was also a full time student and worked in an office job, also my mum had it. Sometimes we are just predisposed to it.

I am happy to give you more information should you need it as I distinctly remember when I was told I had this and I couldn't for the life of me work out all the stuff I needed to know!! I wish I had been on MN then as I would have asked in the same way you have! Sorry for the really long post!!

mrsws Mon 25-Jul-11 23:30:53

Hi

Thanks for all the posts. I did have it slightly when i was pregnant - waking up with numbness and tingling in my hands but that was all. Not even enough to warrant a trip to the docor and it went away straight after the birth. Infact it only really came back when my DD was about 4 months old.

ORBITOR I think you need to go and see your GP - and dont get fobbed off like I did. They will proberbly give you wrist splints which do help alot at night as that is when they recon the pain is worse. Also sleeping in the fetal position with your hands curled can be one of the worse things for it. So the splints stop this immediately. I think in pregnancy it is to do with water retention so hopefully you will be fine after the birth. Just rest your wrists now.

Voodoomunkee Thanks for the info - any more would be greatly accepted - and dont worry you didnt have a long post, just informative smile

I think the key is to work ou why you have it. I use the laptop alot throughout the day - I have it balancing on the edge of the couch. I type over the babies head when she is BFing/asleep. All the pressure is on my wrists and if I think back I have been doing it like this since my son was born. so I now use a mouse at my side and keep computer to a minimum. hence why I wont be back again till tomorrow.

voodoomunkee Wed 27-Jul-11 20:10:18

I tried cutting out the pc but to be honest the damage was already done and quite significant! The consultant said for my age (I was 30) I had the worst nerve conduction test results he had seen! I found that I could do most things but it was really uncomfortable over any length of time. I would recommend asking the docs to refer you, really I would. It doesnt go away and in my experience it only gets worse!

The speed with which I got my referrals and then the haste with which I could have had the op pleasantly suprised me. I expected to have to have steroid injections etc however the consultant couldnt see the point in dragging it out when I was clearly going to need the release op in the future. I was quite happy to go along with it as I couldnt stand the tingling, pins and needles and then the pain any longer! I had the op in the december, about a week before Xmas (my choice as it was between semesters at uni and it was my final year) then the stitches came out on New Years Eve. The op isnt the nicest but when you weigh up the op which is over and done with in about 30 mins and the recovery time against the lost sleep etc I know which one I would advocate!

I have it badly in my left hand now which was the better of the two when I 1st had it diagnosed. I had the op 2 years ago this Xmas and the consultant was happy to sign me off until I was ready to get the left hand done. I still use a splint for my left hand.

Final thoughts on it- apparently if can cause permenant nerve damage. I wonder how much damage was done to my hand when I didnt realise what was going on and was just having 'twitchy' fingers! Also it can come back as it is the nerves that run through the middle of the bone across the bottom of your hand and these can become trapped again. To end on a positive note - the relief after my op was FANTASTIC. Hope you get sorted and feel free to shout at any time!

sillyrubberduck Fri 29-Jul-11 13:39:38

Hi OP
I had carpal tunnel syndrome when pregnant and soon after( 7 years ago). I was lucky to have BUPA cover through work and had some steroid injections ( V. painful) in my wrists. Pain disappeared but came back a few months later. I had a second injection and pain has now gone. I didn't actually want to have the second injection as the first one was so painful but my consultant told me that the alternative was months of physio which I did not want. i am glad now I went for the injection.
Good luck

curlykate99 Fri 29-Jul-11 18:52:37

You should ask for your thyroid function to be checked - you might not know if it was underactive, it can cause non-specific symptoms like tiredness and weight gain, but also can cause carpal tunnel. Other causes are pregnancy, some forms of contraceptive pill etc - think its to do with fluid retention.

You should get it ruled out before any injections/surgery etc because it is easily treatable with tablets.

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