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Ulnar Nerve Damage After Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery?

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I had CTR surgery on my right hand on Feb 6 and then on my left hand on Mar 6. Since the day of the surgery on my right hand, my pinkie and part of my ring finger have been tingly and/or numb. I had no problems with them before the surgery. Additionally, the area around the scar is very tight and painful (a burning sensation, like it is being stretched) and it is painful to lay my palm flat on a table or hard surface. I am having no such problems with my left hand and only 1 week post surgery there is little or no pain and no numbness.

I called the doctor's office 5 days after the surgery and reported the problem and they told me to loosen the dressing to fix the problem. I did that and it didn't help. I called them back and was told it was swelling and to keep it elevated and iced until my 2 week follow up visit. I did that and at the follow up visit reported it again to my doctor. He said it involved the ulnar nerve and was probably still just swelling, but I had significant difficulty making a fist and with range of motion at that time. I reported it again at my 6 week follow up and was told it looked like it was still swollen and would likely go away on its own and the doctor didn't feel PT was necessary. I'm worried and I don't think my doctor is concerned with giving the problem any attention or thought.

Is there a significant risk for damage to the ulnar nerve with CTR? The doctor keeps telling me it's probably just residual swelling, but it has been constant for almost 9 weeks now and I am worried it may contribute to a permanent problem.
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replied April 17th, 2013
Especially eHealthy
ebed,

The ulnar nerve at the wrist is in a separate canal (Guyon's canal), so it is fairly protected during a carpal tunnel release.

However, post-op swelling or the development of scar tissue in the wrist could cause compression on the ulnar nerve.


But, you could also be having problems with the ulnar nerve at the elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome).

It would take a very thorough evaluation, and maybe some electrical studies to determine the location of the ulnar nerve involvement.


Good luck.
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replied June 14th, 2013
ebed, how about now? I had surgery 5/21 and exact same situation...
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replied September 1st, 2013
Numbness in Ring Finger after CTS
Same with me. Had CTR on my left hand 12 days ago. Original symptoms are gone thank goodness. But, the pinky side of my ring finger is numb, and when I turn my wrist with all my fingers extended, I get what feels like an electrical shock up my ring finger that is very uncomfortable. This started a few days after the surgery, and I figured it was from swelling. Swelling seems to now be gone and I have little pain elsewhere in my hand, except for an occasional aching in my wrist on the elbow side. I'm hoping this is temporary and have a follow up to have stiches removed in 2 days. Any suggestions to help alleviate the numbness and funny feeling in my ring finger right now would be appreciated.
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replied March 4th, 2014
twogun, pinky any better now? I had CTR 3 weeks ago and am having very similar symptoms.
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replied October 5th, 2013
I had my op Oct 2012 and was told op went well although had severe nerve damage.I went bk to docs as was concerned my lillte and adjoining finger were sitting on each other and resembled a claw.doc said wasnt right and was ref for physio which had for 6 months. I wad then discharged as she felt she could do no more and I gad at least regained the use of the hand, she did however ref me to OT for splinting.throughout the scar has been red, burning and very itchy and nothing seemed to help.OT then introduced me to Scarsil fantastic stuff.
I was then measured and a splint made for me which I have to wear throughout the night.now im still left with a pain that is constant and can only b exp like I have elastic bands from top to bottom and across the hand feels false and completely alien to me.the carpal pain itself was on n off with good bad days but this is constant. I also gave to wear a decompression glove during day as hand still swollen.am now being ref bk to surgeon im at wits end and in so much pain.
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replied November 20th, 2013
Ulnar nerve may rarely be injured during carpal tunnel surgery. Sometimes there is coexisting compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow or wrist that may also require treatment. If there are new symptoms and nerve pain with electric shocks, burning or new tingling then this needs looking at carefully to ensure there is no injury to the ulnar nerve or one of the distal branches. A clawed posture to the small and ring fingers implies that there may be a problem with motor ( muscle ) supply from the ulnar nerve. I would advise you to contact a hand surgeon.
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replied December 28th, 2013
Ulnar nerve transposition & Carpal Tunnel surgeries
I had my left arm surgery of Ulnar nerve transposition & Carpal Tunnel in July of 2011, since then I am more in pain, I cannot rest my arm on my lap, my whole hand will get numb, my hand from elbow is angled out, there is a lump by the elbow, & my hand is getting smaller than my right hand, after several visit to my surgeon, I was referred to EMI test, That test concluded that I have developed Chronic pain syndrome. Surgeon sent me to Chronic pain clinic, there doctor prescribed me 4 pain medications in the course of 3 months, & my body reacted to all 4, with swell ankle, puffy eyes, swell lips, now pain is travelling to my shoulder to neck....any suggestion... Thanks..
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