Issues after CTS

mrsboge
Offline

Has anyone had issues with their wrist/hand since their CTS? I had CTS 5 years ago and my hand has never been the same. The numbness and tingling went away after my surgery, but I have had increasing pain in my wrist over the years. It feels like it is broken when I move it. I also have pain in my upper hand and have trouble holding things. My ortho (not the same ortho that did the surgery, as we have since moved) did an xray, mri and blood work. He isn't sure what is causing my extreme pain and weakness and has referred me to a Rheumatologist. I did not have the RF but my c reactive protein was high. I believe I have osteoarthritis not RA. Any way, I was wondering if having the surgery has created this issue. Anyone else have problems after surgery?

jeremydpbland
Offline

The surgery damages the 'normal' structure of the wrist and it is not uncommon for this to cause subsequent problems. The wrist is a complex joint with eight small bones arranged in two arched rows of four, across the base of which stretches the transverse carpal liagament holding it in the arch shape. The gap through the middle of the arch is the carpal tunnel. Cutting the transverse carpal ligament, which is is what is done in surgery, removes the support for the arch and stresses the joints between the small bones in ways which they are not used to. It is hardly surprising that this sometimes causes persistent pain. Indeed it is perhaps more surprising that most of the time we seem to get away with the surgery without causing this problem. Of course there are also other causes for wrist pain so it should be investigated but it is defiitely possible that this is a side effect of surgery for CTS. JB

Nstkins53
Offline

Is there an actual % of patients who end up with this side affect after CTS surgery ?

jeremydpbland
Offline

Not a reliable one. Apart from anything else it depends how long after surgery you ask patients whether they have any problems. My impression is that 10-20% of patients will have significant problems of one kind or another in the few months immediately after surgery (though many of these may be considered 'expected' and not result in further medical consultations and treatment) but a fair number of those will improve over the next 5 years, after which some partients start to get recurrent problems and the incidence rises again. By 20 years after surgery we may be back to the 10-20% figure again but given the fact that many patients with CTS are elderly to start off with many may nort survive 20 years after surgery. There are no really high quality long-term outcome studies of carpal tunnel surgery - just a few relatively small studies with rather unsatisfactory categorisations of exactly what the long term problems are due to. JB

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here.

close