Issues after CTS

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

jeremydpbland
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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

johnno1970
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Hope you are feeling better now.

Invulnerabledr
Online

Generally about 50% of the people who have the surgery end up with issues afterwards. Everybody that I’ve met has had a long lasting issue after the surgery. Some of them even say they wish they never got it done in the first place. I had a buddy Who was an athlete and he used to train all the time and he had developed carpal tunnel, and now he can’t even work out anymore because the pain in his wrists are so bad even six years later. And spending $5000 per hand on something that likely isn’t gonna do anything is kind of redundant in my opinion. Nothing really works full proof, once you have this disability you have it for the rest of your life in someway shape or form

 

WARNING FROM THE MODERATOR - this posting is factually inaccurate - Dr J Bland

jeremydpbland
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Please don't post inaccurate statistics based on anecdotal experience. The true success rate of carpal tunnel surgery is very well documented on this website. We have now tracked the outcome of over 9000 operations and 80% or so of these patients are delighted with the results! Over-exaggerating the failure rate may dissuade some patients who really should have surgery from getting it done. There are failures - but nothing like 50% JB

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