HELP! Terrible Hand/Arm PAIN: DX Carpal Tunnel - HELP!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pearls, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. pearls

    pearls New Member

    I've had a "nerve conduction" test before - but, oh my! It was not like THIS ONE! My doctor explained that some doctors give a "whimpy" one, but if we really wanted to know what was going on, we had to have a real test. It was more involved and hurt more - but I have to say that I'm used to hurting - and the hurting of this test doesn't last long. Almost immediately he said I definitely have carpal tunnel syndrome in my left hand and that he might be sending me to a surgeon.

    We haven't yet had time to discuss what exactly is going on in my left hand. But when I suggested that perhaps the (much less severe) carpal tunnel syndrome I'd been DX'd with before was really a slightly different use of the term, i.e."carpal tunnel syndrome" as opposed to "CARPAL! TUNNEL!! SYNDROME!!!" he smilingly agreed. I asked if my little-mouse-voiced term might be applied to my right hand as opposed to the BIG-VOICED term applied to my left. He agreed to that, too, in the same amused way. Anyway, we'll discuss it further during our next visit.

    As to the surgeon, I wondered to him if that was a good idea since fibromyalgia patients might have a low incidence of success with surgery. His answer indicated that my concern might be justified and we agreed to discuss it at our next visit.

    Now, one of our members mentioned Active Release Technique (ART), which can be done by anyone who is certified in it. My former chiropractor mentioned something like that before he left the area. I'm interested in hearing more about the pros and cons of ART and for surgery, as well, in fibromyalgia patients. Are there any articles I can print out for my doctor? I want to be informed when I make any decisions and am lucky to have a wonderful doctor who is willing to be my partner in this as well as my DOCTOR (as opposed to "doctor"). <Grin>

  2. CATLADY912

    CATLADY912 New Member

    I also have carpal tunnel syndrome or you can say just carpal tunnel. I use the word syndrome when the CP is active. I don't anything about ART but I know what I did. I was sent to the best Carpal tunnel doctor here in my town. When its active, it causes numbess and tingling in the hands, shooting pains up and down my arm into my shoulder. The pain was so bad it woke me up and kept me up. Now I got this before I was diagnosised with Fibro. Its's worse in the right hand because that is the one I write with. Since I have had to quite work, it doesn.t bother me much now. But when it does, I wear a hand brace all day and all night, and Dr. Bright would inject my wrist with a steriod. He was good with that needle because i never knew any pain with the injection to my wrist. They inject the wrist on the bottom side. I mean you turn you hand over and that's the part of the wrist that is injected. I also had to be careful how much I wrote. After wearing the brace, having it injected and taking the pain meds(This happen to me 10 years ago) it eased off to normal. But had I had to have surgery Dr. Bright was the man to do it. They only operate when the carpal tunnel is a certain degree active. If there is more pain with the degree for surgery I would hate to have it because at the degree mine was at it nearly killed me when it started up the first time. Now, if it starts to flare up, I put my brace on and wear it day and night, and I got out most of my writing or any activity that I did with that wrist.Back then I was working and using a computer all the time and I had a hair style that had to be blown dry every morning, so all that repeated action will cause it to flare. Now I'm on disability and wear my hair short that only needs mouse to make the style with my hand and I'm finished. Haven't blown dryed my hair in 2 years. I have a spiked hair do now and you know that doesn't take allot of work. I'm sorry I don't know anything about ART, but I was willing to do whatever else I could do to prevent the surgery and keeping my wrist to a degree where I didn't need surgery because if you do have surgery and he isn't a specialist in that field, he can mess up your wrist. I know of a few who that happened to.If you do have surgery make sure he is a specialist in that field. Dr. Bright was a specialist and everybody he ever operated on had no problem afterwards. If I have a flare up now with having fibro also, I would also consider other options before I had the surgery.But in 10 years they probably have different techiques of doing CP. I hope this helps you out some.

    Allot of blessings sent your way. Janice
  3. pearls

    pearls New Member

    I am concerned about surgery because I believe someone on this list wrote that a certain surgeon who does this won't perform the operation on fibromyalgia patients anymore because they are so much less likely to find success with it.

    The literature also mentions surgery in general as something that often is the "trigger" for fibromyalgia. For that matter, I've often wondered if perhaps there is a greater incidence of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome after surgery - all kinds - than is generally believed. For instance, the accepted "success" rate may be one thing, but if a researcher was to look further, perhaps a number of "successes" were followed by otherwise hidden instances of fibromyalgia and other immune disfunction disorders.

    In your case, Janice, I think you said you had a successful surgery and that it was before you came down with fibromyalgia. I'm concerned with rate of successful surgery for those of us who already have fibromyalgia.

    By the way, I've had wrist, hand, finger, and elbow pain for years. It has flared big time lately, all the way up to and including my shoulders - complete with pins and needles, burning, aching, and sometimes even stabbing pain - sometimes quite severe and really destroying my sleep. That's why I had another nerve conduction test.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/29/2003]
  4. RoZzZ

    RoZzZ New Member

    Just wanted to let you know that I am a chiropractic assistant..NOT the chiropractor, so don't erxpect too much info from me just yet. All I can say now is PLEASE don't consider surgery,that would have to be the last and final option. I am not trying to promote chiropractic as I am NOT under any specific care myself even though I get it for free. My boss has just recently been to a "Hand's on Seminar" For (ART & SRT).
    I promise I will get you some information or even a website that is appropriate. I won't be able to post it for another couple of days as I am off to a chiro seminar myself this weekend. All I know is that when we are doing an examination on a patient, the patient is asked about carpal tunnel syndrome.

    I promise you...OK!
  5. debbiem31

    debbiem31 New Member

    Hi there. First, I'm sorry to hear about your pain. I, too, have lived with CTS for many years from abuse of factories.

    This site (namely Mel) led me to research the ART that has been mentioned. I found an ART certified chiro about 30 miles from me. Any doctor, pyhsical therapist or chiropractor can be certified to do ART. I went to the locator and typed in my zip code and had it look within 50 miles of me. I found 3 and they all happened to be chiropractors.

    I just had my second visit last night. I wish I could tell you all the pain is gone now, but we have to be realistic. Depending on the severity of the CTS, it could take many visits to cure the CTS. I will say, however, that I am extremely satisfied thus far. Normally, I can't even hardly type, and I've typed all this so far without stopping!!! I'm going twice a week for now.

    He has given me exercises that I can do at home as well. Please, consider ART. If you'll read the first poster, she had surgery, and yet she's still in pain and having to wear a wrist brace and limit her activities. It's a last resort (surgery). I've known several people who've had the surgery, and none are helped, some are even worse.

    I recommend it to anyone who has CTS....
  6. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Thank you all for your help. I really appreciate it. However, I have a big problem. I went to the site you suggested, Mel, and typed in my zip code. The closest person trained in ART - at least who was listed - is about 120 miles away. I was so disappointed! The way I feel, I really don't know if I can go to regular appointments that far away. I actually did chase a cure for something in my younger days that was several hundred days, but that was many years ago - nd long before fibromyalgia came into my life.

    Nevertheless, I don't think I'm going to opt for surgery. I'm not willing to give up so soon. I'll wear my new braces 18 hours each day, especially at night, and see if there is some way to make ART happen for me.

  7. jeanann

    jeanann New Member

    was just another diagnoses i have received. I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand. i feel soooo much better it actually helfped my left hand cuase now i have use of both. I say have the surgery. Its sooo worth it,

    Good Luck
    Jean Ann
  8. debbiem31

    debbiem31 New Member

    My ART guy didn't do that much that would require being in his office. I sat during the whole treatment, with one exception. He had me lay down for one excercise which lasted only a minute at most. Please try and get a hold of the nearest ART person. People are getting certified all the time.

    Another option: Maybe you could point your doctor in the direction of the website. There's a link on there for doctors wishing to become certified. It's certainly worth a try!! I lived with this crap for years, and while I made it, it wasn't pretty or fun. Talk to your doc about it. I don't know how long it takes to get certified or if he's even willing, but it can't hurt to ask him...

  9. basket21

    basket21 New Member

    I had carpal tunnel pain in both wrists. It would wake me up and all I could do was to hold my wrists pressed to my body and pray for pain relief.
    My doctor sent me for the nerve conduction test on my left wrist and it show a blockage so the specialist suggested an operation. He said go to a plastic surgeon cuz he will do a nicer job. I saw the plastic surgeon, had the surgery done and in 10 weeks the stitches came out. No therapy except to keep flexing your fingers to avoid stiffness. When my right wrist became unbearable I called the plastic surgeon and we operated on the right wrists. They will not do two wrists at the same time so you can still use the other hand to help yourself on a daily basis. I have not had any pain since then, which was at least 5 years ago. Don't put up with the pain, get them fixed. We have enough pain to worry about, that we can't fix.
  10. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Thanks for the input. Several questions:

    1) For those of you who had the surgery and are happy with it: did you have the surgery AFTER your diagnosis with fibromyalgia or BEFORE? I'm not against getting things fixed. My concern with that is I've read somewhere that people with fibromyalgia as a group have a low rate of success with surgery. My pain doctor seemed to confirm that when I brought it up after he suggested the surgery.

    If that's the case, I could go to get it "fixed," and not get it fixed or worse. I would love to see that someone has done a study and actually has numbers to show what the odds are for those of us with our illness having success with surgery. But I would be surprised if there were such a study yet.

    To be frank, I'm worried about ANY surgery since my fibromyalgia hit. However, I found a report on this site, "Guidance for Fibromyalgia Patients Who are Having Elective Surgery." There are some good suggestions in the article, though it doesn't deal specifically with carpal tunnel surgery. I believe Dr. Devin J. Starlanyl aslo has guidelines for surgeons who operate on fibromyalgia patients. I don't think any of us should have elective surgery if these things are not clearly understood and acted on by the surgeon - and even then, I'd like to know a lot more about safety records re: fibro and surgery.

    2) I'm puzzled by the messages on ACT. If I were to go to the person who does the ACT, would I not have to go back? Or would I be learning a technique I could do on myself or a family member could do for me? How many times would I have to see the practioner? If I didn't have to go a whole bunch of times, I would be willing to go those 120 miles.

    By the way, I HAVE thought of giving my pain doc informaton on ACT to see if perhaps he might want to learn more about it. Thanks for that suggestion. It reinforces my own idea about it.

  11. debbiem31

    debbiem31 New Member

    (((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))to Mel. He took all those words right out of my mouth. I couldn't agree more.
    Nuff said.

    Good luck,
  12. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Thank you, Mel and Debbie, so very much for all the information you gave me and your willingness to work with me. You've convinced me to give ART a try. As a matter of fact, I had surgery on both my feet several years ago. It took upwards of a year to get over it, there was a lot of pain. After just two years, the problem returned and is still bothering me. (That's another letter, another time.)

    Anyway, a number of years ago, I had another medical problem that required me to travel 200 miles for what I thought was the best treatment. I've done traveling before, and I think I can travel again - and it is not nearly so far as before.

    However, before I do that, I will share what I know with my pain doctor. I'm sure he'd be willing to have me try this than to jump into surgery, but as of now I'm convinced. I believe I'll do it no matter what.

    Thanks to those of you, too, who felt otherwise and shared that with me. I asked for pros and cons, both of which are necessary in my view for a sound decision. I'm glad surgery worked for those of you who have tried it.

    This board is great!

    Thanks again,