Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Forum

Numbness after carpel surgery

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My son had an operation for carpel. His hand was extremely weak following surgery, but
is progressively growing stronger.

Suddenly, he has another problem - thumb numbness.
Could this be a complication of surgery?
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic
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replied July 5th, 2009
Community Volunteer
It could be a temporary condition from the surgery...He should call his physician to see what he says on this...
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replied January 17th, 2010
Numbness still after carpal tunnel surgery
I have had carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand and four years later i still have the same numbness still there and seems to be going farther up my arm now, and my left hand is considerably weaker still to this day. yet the doctors can't seem to find the cause of it, anyone have the same problem with any answers?
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replied March 31st, 2011
After op numbness
I had the op two days ago and have a numbness on the side of my ring finger which wasnt as bad before the op. The surgeon says its early days and is normal but the finger feels worse than before, as though anaesthetic is in it. Any ideas on why this is, and will it improve. Its my left hand.
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replied March 31st, 2011
Community Volunteer
Hi PrettyPrincess and welcome to ehealth: It is early in your recovery...Give yourself some time to heal...Numbness is often a part of the surgery for a short period of time...We are each different...Take care...

Caroline
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replied April 23rd, 2011
I had my surgery 7 weeks ago on both hands, the left is still numb across 3 of my fingers, waiting to see the doctor again next week
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replied June 1st, 2011
i had surgery yesterday. im 21 woman... doc said i was his worst youngest to ever have this prob. i did the bilateral surgery done, to get over with. my right hand is all ok with exception of pain where he did the work. on my left hand (my worst hand) my middle finger is completely numb..and on inside of pointer finger and inside right of ring finger. is also numb... not too worried bout that.... but wen i straighten my left arm completely i get a strong sharp jolt from nervs shoot up and down my arm.... is any of this normal???? calling doc tomorrow to see wats goin on...
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replied June 3rd, 2011
Especially eHealthy
shortie,

It depends. On the left, worst side, if the fingers were completely numb before the surgery, they may actually go through a period of increased pain after the surgery. The nerves are in the process of waking up.

I'm sure you have sat on your foot to the point of it being totally numb, totally asleep. As it wakes up, there is a period where it is in a state that you just don't want to touch or move it because that causes an intense painful "weird" feeling. The foot then continues to wake up and the feeling goes away.

So, your hand could be going through the same stages.

That intense feeling is what patients with causalgia feel all the time. It is strange because light touch is worse than deep pressure. Blowing air across the region or putting just a light sheet on the skin can send these patients through the roof.


Tell the surgeon exactly what your symptoms are, how they have changed (if any), what makes it worse/better, etc. Hopefully, it is a temporary problem. In the meantime, keep the hand elevated, and do gentle active finger range of motion. The finger ROM helps with swelling and to prevent scaring of the tendons within the carpal tunnel.

Good luck.
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replied June 5th, 2011
it been a week since i had it done and i find same problem be carefull dont work it to hard i very numb in eves i do wiggle my fingers about all day to try wake up the nerves but its hard with stiches still in
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replied October 21st, 2011
hi all, had right carpal surgery done tues. 4:30 hand still feels numb and tingly. arms feel very stiff from before surgery. am a little freaked out because of cervical spine problems-already had anterior discectomy & fusion... worried that the problems in my hand are related more to some sort of nerve blockage in my neck, than CTS.
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replied October 21st, 2011
Experienced User
My thumb was numb for awhile after surgery but thank God it has gone away. Good luck but I have other problems now with my hands than numbness - cramping. Darn!
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replied July 27th, 2012
hand is burning and shooting extreme pain
I have had Carpal tunnel surgery on both hands. Yet my ring finger and middle finger are always numb. I also get electrical shocks shooting down my arm and hands on a regular basis. In addition Ill wale up and my arm and hand is burning and shooting extreme pain throughout my hand and arm. My EMG before surgery was 11 my EMG 1 year after surgery is 9.

The Neurologist said you don't wake up one day and have carpal tunnel syndrome. Yet this is exactly what happened to me. I woke up and could not lift my coffee pot to dump the water into.

My hands hurt so bad yet everyone thinks it is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Ive had the surgeries now what?
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replied July 27th, 2012
hand is burning and shooting extreme pain
I have had Carpal tunnel surgery on both hands. Yet my ring finger and middle finger are always numb. I also get electrical shocks shooting down my arm and hands on a regular basis. In addition Ill wale up and my arm and hand is burning and shooting extreme pain throughout my hand and arm. My EMG before surgery was 11 my EMG 1 year after surgery is 9.

The Neurologist said you don't wake up one day and have carpal tunnel syndrome. Yet this is exactly what happened to me. I woke up and could not lift my coffee pot to dump the water into.

My hands hurt so bad yet everyone thinks it is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Ive had the surgeries now what?
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replied December 14th, 2012
my fingers are gone
i had surgery on my right hand 3 weeks ago my index and middle finger feel like their not there really odd feeling
im on worker comp and they really dont have a answer for me keep telling me its ok [[[[[HELP]]]
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replied December 16th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
ooocapn,

Is the numbness different than before your carpal tunnel release (CTR)?

It is not uncommon for patients to have some temporary numbness and tingling, or for the patient's pre-op symptoms of numbness/tingling to persist, after a CTR?

This can be due to a few different reasons. The nerve is manipulated a little during the surgery (more so in an open procedure, than in an endoscopic procedure), and nerves for very finicky. This manipulation can cause a neuropraxia, resulting in temporary numbness/tingling. Swelling from the surgery can put pressure on the nerve. These usually occur right after surgery, and resolve in the following weeks.

If the numbness and tingling develops later, several weeks after the procedure (with an intervening period where the symptoms actually got a lot better), then this can be due to the formation of scar tissue around the nerve. This can be a very difficult problem to treat.


If the numbness/tingling is exactly the same as the pre-op symptoms, and they did not change at all after the surgery, then there is a possibility that the release was not complete. It is possible, even with the open procedure to miss a band of tissue, which continues to compress the nedian nerve.


But, by three weeks, if the release was complete, even if you had some post-op swelling or neuropraxia, it should be resolving. About all you can do it continue to see the surgeon, asking about the numbness and tingling. You may have to have some electrical studies, to see what the status of the nerve is. These are usually not done before around six weeks after the surgery.

Good luck.
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Users who thank Gaelic for this post: ooocapn 

replied April 8th, 2013
I had CTS on my right hand 1 month ago and while I still have some swelling, stiffness and tingling,I can FINALLY sleep through the night without extreme painful numbness.
I was told that it could take up to 3 months to fully recover. For example I can do almost everything now, but in limited quantities. I can't lift heavy things and at the end of the day my hand is sore from working on a computer all day at work, but I'm still glad I had the surgery at this point.
Give it a little time people, the hand is a senstive area and usually takes longer to heal than other parts of the body.
Most importantly pace yourself, allow others to help you (PLEASE). You would hate to injury yourself after going through all that.
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replied June 20th, 2013
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
I have a similar experience as Irie. I had surgery on my left hand on the 4th June. I know it's not even three weeks since the surgery, but my numbness and pins and needles have disappeared and I am now able to sleep at night without getting the cramps and pins and needles that kept waking me every night. I still have slight numbness down the side of my thumb and can't lift anything heavy, and if I do pick up something the wrong way I get sharp pains down the side of my hand near my little finger, but at least I can sleep now and it's better than before. I know it can take time to recover, so I'm not worried about the pains, YET, but it's just great to be able to get a full nights sleep after a couple of years of not sleeping properly. I'm due back to work next week, so I will just have to see what I can cope with there.
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replied March 3rd, 2014
hello my fellow CTS sufferers.. I had surgery 5 days ago, by an excellent surgeon who opted to do a mini incision along the line of my wrist (curve and all) - I have read so much about CTS you'd think I'm an expert by now.. I'm not.. I guess I've been looking for the specific situation I have. The day of and the following day after the surgery all seemed OK. On the third day as I was pulling my pants up to get dressed, I had a high voltage electrical shock up the side of my ring finger (side to the middle finger) I thought I saw not only stars but the whole universe. Since then I've been reading and reading looking for somebody who can explain this. My surgeon said it was normal and I want to trust him (did an excellent job on my knee and shoulder) but I'm only a curious human and want to know if this is happening to someone else. The scar looks wonderful (as scars go) and I've iced my poor hand to death, so no inflammation at all, color is all good, and the fingers that gave me the trouble before the surgery (thumb, index, middle) are all perfect. So it's just that persistent numbness and tingling on the side of my ring finger and the electrical shocks when the index finger is pressed. Anyone with this problem?
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replied March 12th, 2014
Hello. I had carpal tunnel surgery 2 weeks ago today. I am still VERY sore and i have alot of pain in my pinkie and my thumb is still numb. I get shkoting pains up the top of my arm and it takes my breath away it hurts so bad. The wrist area is very sore as well and still very bruised. I return to the doc next week. Anyone else have this issue ?
Thank u :0)
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replied March 21st, 2014
I had my surgery yesterday om my right hand. The pain after the procedure is tolerable, what worries me is that the constant numbness that I had in my 4 fingers is now even stronger...I am only hoping that it is a natural side effect of the surgery...I called my Surgeon and Neurologist, but nobody called me back...

Does anyone have any idea /
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replied August 26th, 2014
Tingling and numbness after carpal tunnel release surgery
Hi all,

I had a Manos CTR four days ago on my left hand. I am experiencing tingling and numbness on my thumb, index and second fingers, especially on the pads of my fingers under the fingernails . Strangely, I have more feeling on my nail-side of these fingers. I can wiggle all fingers and I'm still in my splint. I go back to my hand surgeon this coming Friday (3 days from today). I'm a bit freaked out, since I had a previous Manos surgery on my right hand by this same surgeon two years ago and all went well without these symptoms. I am very swollen currently and I wonder if anything can help my problem? Thanks and I hope everyone posting heals completely. Godspeed.
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