Has anyone here had carpal tunnel surgery?

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by XR4EVER, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    I have been putting off getting the surgery for a long time because I am afraid of any side effects while riding and working, mainly hard palm impacts on the newly exposed nerves (I'm a custom furniture/cabinet maker). Both my mom and my wife had the surgery about 5 years ago and report few side effects besides the occasional zinger, but my wife doesn't ride as often as me, and neither have jobs that are as hard on the hands.

    I was wondering if any of you fellow riders have had the surgery and what your side-effects have been? How long of a recovery time should I realistically expect? Was your surgery endoscopic or invasive?
    #1
  2. Squishy

    Squishy Elastically-kinematic.

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    Haven't had the surgery, but when i do get that pain (usually after plastering wall joints for a few days) i surely identify with going under the knife. That pain is terrible, especially at night, keeps you up all night...no relief.
    I'm a wood worker too, fortunately don't get the pain constantly though...yet!!

    Good luck, i'd say go with it, if it's affecting your way of life constantly. I would, although my wife works in surgery...so she's all over these things...typical dinner table conversations! :puke2:lol3
    #2
  3. ObiJohn

    ObiJohn Screaming Banshee

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    Although I've had issues I haven't gone under the knife yet. If I do, I'll get the arthroscopic version instead of having the huge cut down the wrist and into the palm. Folks that have had the arthroscopic option have reported immediate relief, quick healing, and no more pain.
    #3
  4. slobinski

    slobinski easily amused

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    Had it done, both hands, back in the dark ages before the arthroscopic stuff. I never had the murderous pain, but lots of numbness, tingling, and was constantly dropping stuff. Healed up fine, but slowly. No problems to this day. Get it fixed! It's well worth the trouble.

    Somewhere here there's an old thread about this.
    #4
  5. Road2Adv

    Road2Adv Adventurer

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    +1 on the carpal tunnel surgery information.:huh

    Ride safe, change the gas often.
    #5
  6. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    I can definitely relate to the dinner conversation topics; my wife is a floor nurse at the local hospital. Why do they have to bring it up at dinner?!! I remember one conversation in particular about a patient she had who fell off a ladder and onto a railroad jack. He filleted his scrotum from his A-hole to his shaft. :huh That one stuck with me.

    I am actually embarrassed at how long I have let this go on. I can barely go a night without waking up at some point with a hand/arm so numb that it has lost function, and I have to move it with the other hand. When I ride, especially up a long technical hill climb, I will sometimes look down and realize that my pinky has moved up on top of my ring finger without my knowing. I routinely have to stop and shake the feeling back into my hands every ten minutes or so.

    The thing that makes me nervous -- if I lightly tap my finger against the base of my wife's palm (around her scar), she says it feels like an electrical shock shooting up her arm. I always imagine feeling every rock, root and stump like that wile riding post surgery. Somehow, predictable numbness and minor pain sounds better to me than elective surgery and random zingers.

    Or maybe the mistake I made was watching a video of the surgery on YouTube. :puke1
    #6
  7. what broke now

    what broke now Petroleum Brother

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    I can't speak to carpal, but had "trigger finger" surgery on a thumb. There is the stated "recovery time" mostly for function, and a much longer time for nerves to fully heal [1 - 1.5 years]. That's where the zingers come from.

    Get it fixed, imo, you don't want to favor the hand and collide with a sharp tool [or tablesaw blade] because you passed on surgery. The docs are pretty good at that stuff.
    #7
  8. Valker

    Valker Long timer

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    Had the right one done about 15 years ago and the left one done three years ago. Recovery time was nearly nonexistent. I was riding just a couple days after each surgery. ONLY thing that hurt was if I pressed down, like on chair arms, without thinking first. This hurt when it happened for about a month. That was it, but I had a good doctor (according to him).
    #8
  9. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Pretty much what Valker said - next day I was wrenching in the shope and pruning stuff in the garden. THe best thing was the doctor let me watch the surgery and it was super cool to see the tendons and stuff (I like science).

    I have noticed no loss of strength in grip at all - if anything it's way better due to not hurting. Do yourself a favor and go for it.
    #9
  10. Sport

    Sport Been here awhile

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    It's been 23 years since I had both hands done. NO regrets since and NO symptoms either! Actually had a pinched nerve in one hand (serious) so I had it done first. Have ridden at least 200,000 miles since w/o a problem. There is also NO weakness as a result. Have a nerve conduction test done to positively identify the problem (CTS) and then decide. Wearing braces day and night won't cure it.
    #10
  11. Squishy

    Squishy Elastically-kinematic.

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    Git er dun!! We'll ride our XR4's together after you heal!:thumb
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  12. Sliverpicker

    Sliverpicker Been here awhile

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    Had both of my hands done in 1992. After years of cold weather carpenter work and beloved dirt riding. I pulled the trigger and scheduled the procedure. Right hand was really bad and the left was a problem.

    When I had the right hand done -----that night I slept 8 hours straight for the first time in 8 months. One day later I was running a chain saw cutting wood for the stove. ----It`s no big deal !

    Left hand was done 60 days later. I will say It took about a year before I could slam my palm into something solid and feel no after effects.

    Glad I did it when I did.

    Getter Done------:thumb
    #12
  13. bruceo

    bruceo Been here awhile

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    I had both hands done last winter. My carpal tunnel syndrome was mostly an irritation - not that bad in daily life, and I just put up with it for years. When I rode my hands would fall asleep, which I found rather inconvenient. I had to stop and shake my hands constantly to get the feeling back in them. I had the invasive surgery done on my right hand in December, and then the left done 30 days later. I tried to time it so my recovery would happen when I wasn't riding that much anyway, and I'd say it worked out great. My surgeon felt that with the invasive surgery he had better visibility and fewer chances for complications, so I went with it. No regrets whatsoever!

    My symptoms are completely gone. No irritation in daily life, no numb hands while riding, no waking up in the middle of the night. Recovery was not bad, you won't want to do pushups for several months afterwards. That kind of pressure right on the incision point takes the longest to heal. I was riding again a week after surgery.

    Untreated carpal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent nerve damage and weakness in your hands. I have a strict "only when necessary" surgery policy, so I waited for years before I had mine done. In retrospect, I wish I had mine done earlier. So, like everyone else here so far, I say "Git er done!"
    #13
  14. hondahead

    hondahead n00b

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    My uncle got both done at once. Just need to find someone who is willing to wipe your arse!

    Probably a better idea to get one one at a time. In case something goes wrong!
    #14
  15. bruceo

    bruceo Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I asked about doing them both at the same time. The surgeon gently suggested that wasn't the best idea... :D
    #15
  16. slobinski

    slobinski easily amused

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    Both of mine were done together. It made some parts of the daily routine a bit...um, awkward, shall we say.
    #16
  17. swarider

    swarider n00b

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    Hey XR,
    I had both hands done via traditional surgery. About 10 years ago, maybe 9 months apart.
    I had numbness in the ring and pinky fingers that wouldn't quit, and my thumb muscle had atrophied to about half its original size.
    I see you are in Post Falls. I have to suggest you go see Dr Henry Lin at Northwest Orthopedic Surgeons in Spokane. (www.nwos-spokane.com) He is a hand specialist, he's got great manner, and he's a great guy. I was recommended to him by several friends in the medical community here in Spokane. THe ssurgery takes 10 mintes or less the traditional way, recovery is about a week. I think I took a couple of pain pills in the day afterward, but the bandages come off in about 3-4 days. No tingling, no numbness, no electric feeling, and no pain.
    You do need to rub the area for a couple weeks afterward to keep scar tissue from forming, and I'll bet that your wife's electrical feeling is from scar tissue that formed after surgery. Just rub your thumb up and down the area a few times a day and you won't have that problem.
    I can't encourage you enough. Its not a big deal. I own an auto racing business, and am always working with my hands. The old carpal tunnel surgery never affected me, but I can remember how weak my hands were and how much I couldn't do because of it. At least talk to the best Orthopod in the area, then decide for yourself.
    #17
  18. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    Thank you everyone for the information and the built confidence! I've known for a long time that this is something I would have to do "some day"; maybe now I'll get to it in this off-season.

    :clap
    #18
  19. SuperSlug

    SuperSlug The Space Worm ®

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    I've never had any carpal tunnel issues, but I always honk my horn when I drive through it.

    :lol3

    Sorry.

    To the OP: I hope you find the relief you need!
    #19
  20. EntiatRider

    EntiatRider Adventurer

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    Hey XR
    Ok, man. It can still get worse if you keep letting it go. I type all day and then ride as much as I can. I couldn't feel the throttle within a few seconds or the mouse within a few seconds after placing my hand on them. Riding was done for me. I put up with that for about 2 weeks before I got the surgery scheduled. You have obviously put up with the pain a long time. I did too. I understand. I just had my right carpal cut when we bought and then remodeled our 5th house and had to sheetrock and mud and tape with a cast on one hand, but I did it. It was SO SO SO very much worth it. Just my 2 cents, but now I can make money working and can ride every day. Sure you have some shooting pain, but the numbness is gone and you are a man and can deal with pain, as long as you can use your hands. Don't put it off for fear of surgery and pain if you don't have to. You've got it tougher since you said your wife is a nurse. Mine is too, so we get ZERO sympathy. I totally understand. I was using a drill/driver with my fixed hand within 2 weeks of the surgery with no issues. I could have done that sooner, but I was being careful as I did not have insurance and each trip to the doctor needed to be saved for ahead of time. I've learned my lesson and now pay my $289 a month, just for health insurance. Oh, the joys of being self-employed are not cheap, but I can't beat the work environment! Crud, my left hand is now going numb a lot. I guess man was not meant to type!! Good luck!
    #20