Doctor insights on:
Numbness In Fingers After Carpal Tunnel Surgery
I had trigger thumb and carpal tunnel surgery on March 17, 2015. I still have numbness, tingling, tightness, sensitivity, is this normal?
Yes: It takes time for the inflamed tissue to heal both from where the surgery was done and from around the nerve that was injured. Then it will take time for the nerve itself to heal. I just had this discussion with my hand surgeon. The nerve heals approximately 1-2 mm a day not counting the first month after surgery. Give it time. ...Read more
Can be from a general or a focal conditon. Thyroid disease, diabetes nutrition, neuropathy, circulation and others in the genrela category. Focal tings include neck issues, peripheral nerve compression (likecarpal tunnel) and many other things. It may be better to start with a pcp., then it can be determined whether a neurologist, hand surgeon, endocrinologist ...Read more
I always tell patients that the time to healing is variable in that no two patients are exactly the same. However typically you can go back to light activites within a few days to a few weeks and heavy activity in 4-6 weeks. Of course this is job and activity dependent. If you are a sedentary office worker its a lot different than a plumber or machinist. General health also affects return to function. If you have diabetes, are a smoker or have fibromyalgia or an inflammatory condition you may have an extended time period.
Healing means different things to people. Some take it to imply return to activity others return of normal sensation.
I take time to clarify these two questions before surgery.
Will my sensation come back or be normal after surgery?
While the goal of carpal tunnel surgery is to relieve the pressure on the nerve not everyone will respond the same to surgery
some patients will have immediate return of sensation while some will take longer. Some will notice an improvement right away but still feel tingling and will describe this as "numb" the return of sensation is dependent on many factors including age, general health, duration of symptoms, circulation and the actual mechanical severity of compression.
In very severe cases while decompressing the nerve stops the carpal tunnel syndrome from getting worse, full recovery of sensation may not be possible. Often this is seen in patients who have muscle wasting noted prior to surgery and in those with longstanding complete numbness and elevated two-point discrimination. Of course there are many in these categories that improve despite having very severe cases.
Having a severe case where you are not sure if you'd have full recovery is not a reason to put off surgery, as progression is likely if nothing is done.
How about my strength?
This is a very difficult question as there are many reasons why a hand with carpal tunnel may not feel as strong. It may be that the decreased sensation in the fingers prevents someone from knowing how tight to hold and object and that object is dropped more easily. With return of sensation or even a slight improvement in sensation, dropping objects becomes less of a problem. Some severe cases of carpal tunnel can be associated with atrophy in the muscles of the hand. In some severe cases, this muscle will never fully recover. However despite loss of muscle, function can still be preserved. In very severe cases a suregon may recommend a tendon or muscle transfer to improve function.
So the short answer is its variabole, the long answer above. The best thing is to ask your surgeon what to expect.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. ...Read more
Yes: Give it time to heal. This can improve with time. ...Read more
It may be that: The amoujnt of nerve compression was evere and that it takes time for the nerve to feel better. It may be that the nerve was irritated by the surgical process and that the nerve is a bit more sleepy. In severe cases often it takes longer (far longer than it does for the incision to recover) to exhibit improvement and at times full improvement may not be possible. Talk to your surgeon about this. ...Read more
I had carpal tunnel surgery two months ago. My thumb, pointer and middle finger are numb. They were not before the surgery. Normal?
May want to discuss: With your surgeon. The numbness should nothave gotten worse at two months and you may be having some scarring/adhesion issues or increased edema causing further compression on median nerve. While some of this can be expected post surgically, it should be getting better. With cts surgery, though, it's not uncommon to have a long healing process, even up to six months, that's if the surgery worked. ...Read more
Had carpal tunnel surgery back in 2009 and my fingers and arm are still going numb and wake me up out of my sleep... What could this be?
New exam. Maybe EMG: A new examination by a physician who specializes in nerve pain (dysesthesias) is warranted. The key would be to perform a physical exam and history to try to differentiate the cause. Electrodiagnostic studies (EMG) may be indicated to evaluate specific nerves. Get eval with neurologist, physiatrist, or hand surgeon to help. ...Read more
6 weeks ago I had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands one severe one moderate. I am having extreme pain with 3 fingers on severe tingling and numbness in fingers painful in both hand is this normal after carpal tunnel surgery
I'm sure your surgeon is looking after you to be sure there are no problems, so I will just give you the good news that this is extremely common and part of the normal recovery process. I hope you find the following perspectives helpful:
1. Think of when your leg goes to sleep. When you get up and take the pressure of the nerve the "blood rushes back" and it feels worse for a bit. That's what happens when you release severe carpal tunnel syndrome. Except that it can take weeks to months to resolve. Sounds like you are in the period.
2. I'm sure the severe side is not as satisfying as the moderate side. Severe cts is associated with permanent nerve damage which you will experience as numbness, weakness or atrophy. It can be very discouraging and even unsettling to find that you are still numb after surgery. The good news that is entirely expected and consistent with successful surgery. The bad news is that while that "blood rushing back" feeling will get better, the numbness is likely permanent. Nerves recovery slowly, so you won't know the final result for 2 years or so, but people with severe cts need to understand that they have permanent nerve damage. That unsettling feeling that comes with realizing the difference between the hands and "trip the alarm" and actually increase your experience of pain. ...Read more
Yes: Recent research just published within the last few months does show an increased risk of developing trigger finger after carpal tunnel surgery. The biomechanics of the tendons going through the carpal tunnel are altered slightly after the surgery which can in fact increase the risk of developing trigger finger. ...Read more
Yes: There has been new research demonstrating an increased risk of trigger finger after carpal tunnel surgery. The release of the thick ligament which is causing compression on the nerve does alter the biomechanics of the tendons slightly which can increase the chances of developing trigger finger. This article was just published within the last few months. ...Read more
No: Time to get that checked out. Hard to say what is wrong without an exam. It may not be related to the cts. ...Read more
I have pain in arm from neck to finger tips since having stitches removed after carpal tunnel surgery?
Neck pain: You may have a pinched nerve in the neck that was mimicking the carpal tunnel syndrome. Alternatively, releasing the median nerve at the wrist may have uncovered the pinched nerve in the neck. You may need an MRI of the cervical spine to confirm a pinched nerve in the neck. Physical therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and neck traction may relieve the pain in the neck and arm. ...Read more
Depends: This is a common problem. It may improve with time. ...Read more
After asking my last question, about tingling/ numbness, in fingers and fiber tips I was told it was carpal tunnel. Is this valid. What do I do.
EMG /nerve study: A nerve conduction study and electromyography can be helpful. It will measure the response time, and speed of conduction of nerves that go through the wrist under the carpal ligament into the fingers. The EMG or needle test will evaluate the muscle innervated by these nerves to see if they are also affected. See a physiatrist or neurologist that do this test. Tendinitis is also still possibe. ...Read more
Complete numbness in fingers and both sides of hand. Is this carpal tunnel syndrome, if not what is it?
What could be cause of jolts of pain down fingers when hand gets cold. Have recently had carpal tunnel surgery.?
Nerves waking up: It could be several things, but its not unusual to have a flare up of pain after cts as sensation returns. It can also be caused by scar, post-operative inflammation, and over use. Try ice and anti-inflammatories like Aleve (naproxen) or advil. If it persists, a short course of supervised therapy may help, including de-sensitization exercises like working your handa dn fingers in a pot of dried beans. ...Read more
Had carpal tunnel surgery have have sharp electrical shocks run through hand and feel like it wants to shoot out my fingers?
After carpal tunnel: Midl pain may be a sign of normal healing (we all go at different pace), pillar pain, pain from joints adjacent to the carpal tunnel, another source such as a trigger finger, scar sensitivity, swelling from overdoing it too soon, and the lsit goes on. Often nerve pain goes away but in more severe cases, alterd sensation may linger and shocks can be associated a recovering nerve, BUT ask UR DOCTOR! ...Read more
I had carpal tunnel surgery in September. Then trigger finger rite after. Now have a hard spot at carpal tunnel sight. Doc says scar tissue don't thinkso?
Had open carpal tunnel surgery on my left wrist in 09/2014. As of late I have been having inner elbow pain and middle finger only pain. Any ideas?
Hand surgeon: These symptoms could be due to a recurrence of some carpal tunnel problem. Your hand surgeon is best qualified to evaluate and advise you. ...Read more
Have just had carpal tunnel surgery and following anaesthetic 8 hours later have no feeling in my little finger. Other fingers ok, why is this so?
This involves the: Ulnar nerve, it isn't in the carpal tunnel but hangs out near by. An injury 2 this nerve is not common but happens. Talk 2 Ur surgeon about this. If it persists, NCS/EMG may B needed. The ulnar nerve has some anatomical variations that put it @ risk B4 it's protected inside gyon's canal. Even this has anatomical variants so this needs follow up. ...Read more
I had endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery a week ago. The base of my hand still feels hard and a little numb, is this normal?
Yes: Swelling and stiffness us common after endoscopic carpal tunnel release and it can take a little time to resolve. Numbness can take quite a while to resolve, especially if the nerve damage was more severe before surgery. Sometimes, some of the numbness does not completely resolve, other times it can take 6-12 months to resolve. ...Read more
I had carpal tunnel surgery a year ago. Todate my middle finger still feel numb stiff & swells most days. I am told to be patient is this normal?
No: It is fairly unlikely you will get any further improvement if it has been an entire year after surgery. There are a number of reasons a patient might still have symptoms. One of the more common reasons is the presence of another condition, such as a pinched nerve in the neck, which would still be there after a carpal tunnel release. A detailed exam and appropriate tests can find the cause. ...Read more
I have fibromyalgia and nerve damage from carpal tunnel surgery. I have no feeling in fingers or hands. Which medicines are best?
Both fibromyalgia and peripheral nerve damage are treated with medications such as Lyrica (pregabalin) or neurontin. In addition to these medications, Cymbalta and or Elavil are used to treat your condition.
You need to discuss this with your doctor. Keep in mind that you may never recover the feeling in your hands or fingers if you have true nerve damage. ...Read more
2 carpal tunnel surgeries did not improve fingers numbness and tingling. Condition is deteriorating. Please share improvement options. Thank you.
Carpal tunnel: See a different surgeon and get another opinion ...Read more
Had surgery for carpal tunnel release this morning my hand & fingers are still very numb & it hurts to straighten them & its been 8 hrs, is thi normal?
Is it normal to have numbness and pain in your hand and fingers 3 months after carpal tunnel surgery and ulnar release?
Not uncommon: It is not uncommon for the numbness and tingling caused by cubical and carpal tunnel syndrome to persist for some time following surgery. In addition, scar senlsitivity is common following these surgeries. However, your symptoms should be improved from prior to surgery. Consult with your surgeon regarding timeline for recovery and possibility of therapy for scar massage/desensitization. ...Read more
I had carpal tunnel surgery 5 days ago. I still have intermittent pain and constant numbness of pointer and middle finger the numbness severe. Normal?
Intermittent pain after surgery is not uncommon for the first few weeks...
The numbess is not normal if you didn't have the numbness prior to you surgery...
If the numbness was present before surgery then your current symptoms may be the nerve recovering and will probably resolve.. ...Read more
Had carpal tunnel surgery a year ago. Now I'm getting pain/numbness and tingling in hand and fingers. Why could this be?
Recurr Carpal: Sounds like you are experiencing recurrent carpal tunnel issues. Best to return to original surgeon or find a new had surgeon to evaluate.. ...Read more
I had a carpal tunnel surgery a few years ago. For monthsnow, I have been waking up to both my hands being completely numb. The numbness is in my ring finger, pinkyfinger and palm. What should I do?
Can be: Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (cts) include numbness, tingling, weakness, pain, clumsiness, etc. Most if not all symptoms usually resolve after surgery. However, symptoms can persist or even worsen immediately after surgery, possibly due to the anesthetic and/or postoperative swelling. Any concern should immediately be addressed with the surgeon. ...Read more
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