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A 34-year-old female asked:

Post carpal tunnel surgery, can a follow-up nerve conduction study (ncs) have adverse effects or make the hand worse. can ncs lead to complex regional pain syndrome?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Dariush Saghafi
Neurology 34 years experience
Not really ; Ditto: Although I am not sure why a follow-up nerve conduction study would be necessary there is little chance that could cause any type of harm or worsening of symptoms. I am unaware of any literature that supports the notion of complex regional pain syndrome as a result of a nerve conduction study.
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Dr. Dariush Saghafi
Neurology 34 years experience
Provided original answer
Thanks for the link. I perused some of it. Quite true that many surgeries for CT release do not result in optimal improvement as hoped for and in many instances reason remains unclear. Few would f/u with ultrasound studies but that is entirely reasonable to do and kudos to the diligence of the doc who thought about it. Good luck to you.
Jan 12, 2014
Dr. Steven Brown
Hand Surgery 40 years experience
F/u NCS unreliable: Not sure of reason for post surgical ncs. In most patients with moderate to severe cts the ncs will never return to normal due to axonal damage and scaring. This is particularly true in first year after release. Ncs will not make symptoms worse based on present literature. I would question treating physician on rational for ncs, are they already questioning rsd/complex regional pain syndrome.
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Dr. Kevin Vaught
29 years experience
Not likely: I have never heard of nerve injuries from an emg/ncs. That would be an unlikely cause of complex regional pain syndrome. If you have continued problems, consider a second opinion.
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Dr. Zahid Niazi
Cosmetic Surgery 40 years experience
Regional pain syndro: Studies repeated soon after a surgical release will not show any improvement as nerves recover slowly. If a person is in the prodromal phase of regional pain syndrome then any injury may seem to bring on the full blown picture. Most surgeons will not usually carry out any routine operations on patients with full blown regional pain syndrome. See a pain specialist.
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Last updated Jan 24, 2021

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