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Return of the CTS after surgery

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I had CTS surgery 18 years ago in my left hand. Now I'm experiencing numbness and tingling in the same hand. I DO recall having numbness and tingling before but what I had lots of then was sharp pain on the top of my hand, right about in the middle. In fact, I first thought I'd broken a hand bone when it started. I'm not having that now. The tingling is constant but the sensation of numbness isn't.

So what do you think? Is the CTS back? Confused
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First Helper suzjay
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replied February 5th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Have you been experiencing chronic, severe carpal tunnel syndrome before getting the surgery?
Were your symptoms of CTS linked to repetitive hand or finger motion or they were explained like contribution of another medical condition (rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, diabetes, thyroid gland disorders)?
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replied February 5th, 2008
Experienced User
Return of CTS after surgery?
Before the surgery I almost lost the use of my hand because I didn't have insurance for many years and had to put off taking care of it. Symptoms were pretty bad then: complete deadness, numbess, pain with heat, pain with cold, etc. Currently, there's nothing that severe going on, just the persistant tingling and numbness.
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replied February 20th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Do you, still, find difficult to grip or hold objects?
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replied February 20th, 2008
Experienced User
The first go around with CTS was from repetitive use. I'm a homemaker now and only type sometimes.
My grip is ok. The tingling comes and goes. The other day my hand started to have itching where the tingling is.
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replied February 21st, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Surgical release of the transverse ligament provides high initial success rates (greater than 90%), but the long-term success rate is much lower than previously thought (approximately 60% at 5 y).
Probably, your nerve is permanently damaged due to chronic and severe CT sy.
You should avoid activities that put strain and excessive force on the wrists and also, if you use caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, reduce their use.
Do you suffer from other medical condition?
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replied February 21st, 2008
Experienced User
I had to put off surgery for quite a while because I didn't have health insurance so I wasn't suprised when the surgeon said he thought the nerve was "dying." There were no neurological symptoms until now. Currently, I'm not lifting anything heavy and recently reduced my caffeine to 1 cup of coffee a day. Medical conditions include hypothyroid, IBS, GERD, fibromyalgia (which I don't believe I have) and osteoarthritis. In March I see a neurologist regarding tremors and plan to bring up the numbness.
I appreciate that you've shared your insight with me. Smile
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replied March 11th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
The medical research has for more than 15 years shown a strong relationship between CTS and hypothyroidism.
Do you take thyroid hormone replacement every day?
What are the TSH values like?
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replied March 11th, 2008
Experienced User
MandMs wrote:
The medical research has for more than 15 years shown a strong relationship between CTS and hypothyroidism.
Do you take thyroid hormone replacement every day?
What are the TSH values like?


Yes I take synthroid daily. My thyroid test from January was normal. I saw a neurologist last week for something else and they did and emg on my arms and hands. The technician found no evidence of CTS. Perhaps something will turn up on the mri.
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replied March 12th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
When you gonna be examined with MRI?
Where do you exactly feel tingling and numbness?
Is this more noticeable in mornings?
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replied March 12th, 2008
Experienced User
MandMs wrote:
When you gonna be examined with MRI?
Where do you exactly feel tingling and numbness?
Is this more noticeable in mornings?


I had the MRI Friday and they called this morning to say it's clear. The tingling & numbness come and go. They aren't especially present in the morning. Thanks.
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replied March 18th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Tingling and numbness can have many underlying causes.
It's a symptom of CTS , hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis.
Do you have controlled glucose blood levels?
Do you practice diet rich in vitamins?
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replied March 18th, 2008
Experienced User
MandMs wrote:
Tingling and numbness can have many underlying causes.
It's a symptom of CTS , hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis.
Do you have controlled glucose blood levels?
Do you practice diet rich in vitamins?


I have hypothyroid & OA but not diabetes. My diet is about average but I take a good multivitamin for women every day.
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replied June 13th, 2008
carpal tunnel syndrome came back after surgery?
I had surgery 3 years ago--both hands. now I'm haviing the same symptoms in my left hand as I did before surgery. I have some numbness with periodic tingling in thumb, 1st, middle finger and no strength in thumb or 1st finger when grasping an object. I cannot button my jeans, buttoning and unbuttoning my shirt is very difficult, cannot turn on stove nob.

has anyone had recurrent cts and if so what was the treatment? repeat surgury?
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replied June 13th, 2008
carpal tunnel syndrome came back after surgery?
I had surgery 3 years ago--both hands. now I'm haviing the same symptoms in my left hand as I did before surgery. I have some numbness with periodic tingling in thumb, 1st, middle finger and no strength in thumb or 1st finger when grasping an object. I cannot button my jeans, buttoning and unbuttoning my shirt is very difficult, cannot turn on stove nob.

has anyone had recurrent cts and if so what was the treatment? repeat surgury?
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replied April 4th, 2011
Can carple tunnel come back after surgery???
I also had surgery in both hands 3yrs ago too.
the right hand is good but my left one is tingling too and going numb....So does this come back after surgery????
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replied April 4th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
blp31551,

Unfortunately, sometimes the symptoms return. It is usually because of two different reasons: an incomplete release or the development of scar tissue around the nerve.

If the symptoms never really got any better after the surgery, then it was probably an incomplete release. This reason is amenable to another attempt at release. If you has a release with a 'scope the first time, then this one would be done open. But, even if it was done open the first time, occasionally a tight band is missed, and symptoms continue.

However, if your symptoms resolved or almost completely went away for a period of time, then started up again, that is usually a sign that scar tissue is developing around the nerve. This is a much more difficult problem to treat. Most hand surgeons would want to redo the electrical studies to assess the status of the median nerve. Depending upon the health of the nerve, some surgeons would do a procedure where the carpal tunnel is released again, but, this time, the nerve would be covered with some tissue (fat, fascia, muscle, vein graft, silicone, etc) to try to prevent scaring. Unfortunately, if you made scar the first time, you will probably make it again. The results of this procedure are not as good as the primary surgery, of course.

Discuss your symptoms with your hand surgeon. He/she is the best person to determine exactly what's going on in your hand.

Good luck
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replied July 7th, 2011
I had both wrists surgicaly done in 1999 to fix carpal tunnel. Just two months ago [2011] both hands went numb right after a lumbar surgery. Little fingers, ring fingers and palms. Right after the lumbar surgery...I mean the same day!!! What gives?
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replied July 8th, 2011
UPDATE:
Just had an EMG done and the doctor concluded that the positioning of my body during the lumbar surgery put too much pressure, for too long of time on the ulnar nerves which are in everyones elbows. The doctor is going to send the test results to my surgeon. He said that the surgeon will then decide what action to take. He added that the ulnar nerves were severely damaged according to the EMG test results.
Because the testing, while it was being done, started showing nerve damage right away the doctor asked that he could turn the electric stimulation up as high as I could tolerate to get better results. I had him adjust the stimulation higher until I could no longer handle the shocks without my hands feeling like they were on fire. Quite uncomfortable, but I am glad that the test results were clear to the doctor. Now I'll have to wait and see what the surgeon says.
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