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Had my ortho appt yesterday and now I'm confused

(16 Posts)
OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 15-Jul-08 14:48:09

Ortho said I had strong signs of carpal tunnel and is sending me off for nerve conduction tests - to go back to her in two months unless I get tests done faster.

So why if its carpal do I get such strong numbness and pins and needles in my little finger? Last night through the night it was awful - in both arms with really really horrid aching in my elbow. Its still really aching in one arm from elbow to wrist. Its driving me too distraction and she didnt suggest anything to alleviate it. I can't imagine carrying on like this for two months

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 15-Jul-08 16:04:24

Have taken some diclofenac and the aching is easing. Still confused though.

bellavita Tue 15-Jul-08 16:16:19

My Mum had carpel tunnel in both wrists. Both have been operated on, but prior to this she had cortizone injections to lessen the numbness/pins and needles.

cmotdibbler Tue 15-Jul-08 16:18:59

Splinting at night can really help to reduce the carpal tunnel symptoms - mum had to do it for years until they had got good enough at the operation that she had both wrists done.

You can buy the splints online - you want the ones that bend your wrist back.

SoupKitchen Tue 15-Jul-08 16:23:37

Sounds more like the ulnar nerve than the median.
Sometimes cold water baths can help with the imflammation?.
Have they given you wrist splnts?
Or any exercises?

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 15-Jul-08 19:23:23

SoupKitchen - thats what I think - I went in with a hand that is usually blue (even right now in this heat) fingers numb to heat and cold, elbow and wrist ache. pins and needles right across the hand (but I realised much worse last night in little finger) For ages gp said raynauds and tendonitis until I told her about the lack of sensitivity to heat and she examined for symptoms of carpal tunnel.

Symptoms are worse when I do things like bend my wrist down and also when I press on elbow (why did i forget to mention that bit to surgeon?)

She gave me no clue on how to alleviate it in the mean time. No splints, no exercises, no suggestion of anti-inflammatories.
She said cos of autoimmune stuff (raynauds and I think my psoriatic arthritis) she wouldn't give me a cortisone injection there and then. She said that she felt I would probably need surgery but if I wanted i might be able to try an injection first once I've got the results back.

When they do the nerve conduction do they just test the median nerve or the ulnar as well?


OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 15-Jul-08 19:26:51

I can't understand also why she would suggest the surgery option either as a first line. I know shes an ortho hand surgeon and i'm sure she knows what shes doing, I'm just a bit 'fretty' as its so uncomfortable and it seems like a long time to wait without answers.

SoupKitchen Tue 15-Jul-08 20:17:49

If I were you I would ring her secretary and ask for a telephone consult re the symptoms you have just mentioned.
If they ae testing for carpal tunnel they may just test the median so you need to clarify to get the ulnar tested.
With the coldness (sounds like raynauds) and temp insensitivity( could be nerve impingement/damage).
I would hope they would do extensive conduction tests.

Surgery does sound extreme, but I can understand her thinking re not going straight for cortisone inj. due to your current diagnoses.

Also ask for referral to physio in the meantime for splinting/ assessment of neck, as lots of problems can be referrered the length of the limb.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 15-Jul-08 21:49:16

brilliant thanks for that Soupy - I really appreciate your advice. I'm not great on the telephone but I'll give it a go tomorrow - better just to seem a bit over anxious rather than send them looking down the wrong route.

Am under a physio clinic for s-i joint probs but they've said that they don't want to treat me any further until I've seen a rheumatologist because of whats going on with my hand/elbow and worsening si symptoms. (not been to see him since 6 years ago, tis mild PA and until autumn anti-inflams did job nicely) so gp has put in a referral to them last week as well. I feel like an utter hypochondriac and its no wonder its all getting muddled.


OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 16-Jul-08 09:35:06

I spoke to receptionist who forwarded me to outpatients who then gave me secretaries number who then said I needed the hand secretary lol!

hand sec. said telephone consult not possible - could leave a message. I explained symptoms were in little finger and ring finger overnight and strong aching down the arm into elbow and I wondered if the ulnar nerve would be tested too. Sec. said that they will do 'all that' during nerve conduction tests. So I asked if both nerves get tested and she said yes.

So I still didnt ask about symptom relief - am such an idiot sometimes and two nights of little sleep leaves me a silly weepy thing

SoupKitchen Wed 16-Jul-08 18:29:52

At least you have had the confirmation that all upper limb nerves will be tested.
Sorry to hear you are having such a rough time of it at the moment.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 16-Jul-08 19:09:31

now I've sorted it am going to do my best just to get on and enjoy life as well as I can. Tis the summer holidays coming up and am not going to be a misery for them!

OhYouBadBadKitten Fri 18-Jul-08 12:34:29

Utterly gobsmacked! emg has come through for in 10 days time. Was asked to pull appt forward if it came through early. Go on holiday couple of days after emg so they've put the follow up appt for the day after we get back.
Sometimes the nhs really rocks

SoupKitchen Fri 18-Jul-08 15:27:51

Glad you will get the EMG and treatment plans sorted
Have a good holiday

OhYouBadBadKitten Fri 18-Jul-08 15:55:22


OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 31-Jul-08 08:50:40

Had the test. It was fine - lady was very reassuring and whilst it felt odd it wasn't horrid. She commented at how utterly cold and blue my hands were despite it being baking hot in there and a blazing hot day and the first results came up crap. She had to go and get a wheat bag to warm them up. Once my hands were pink again she did it again. Results were - not carpal tunnel.
She tested the ulnar across the wrist and that was fine too.
So back to hand surgeon to ask what now? and hopefully rheumy appt won't take too long.

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