Last summer I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel in both wrists.  Naturally, the doctors recommend surgery.  I decided to start with an expensive cortisone shot in the right wrist which was worse, and it didn't help at all that I noticed.  I started acupuncture, but I only went for a few weeks because it also got very expensive going three times a week.  I am now experiencing worse pain in my left wrist/hand and becoming highly concerned about my ability to work and being able to make a living as a freelancer.  

I have never heard anything positive about the surgery, and I'm looking for some feedback from anyone who has experienced it or any positive results with any alternative therapies.  I have exercises from physical therapy, and I have the wrist braces already.  I am probably going back to acupuncture this week.

Basically I want to know if anyone had success with the surgery and how long the down time is.  Being self-employed, I can't afford to be off work for very long as we all know! 

Thanks!

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Thanks, Ann.  I also get regular massages, and I think the last one I got probably aggravated everything because she went too deep! Still recovering from that also!  I just moved so had to find a new one, and I'm still looking for the right one.

A friend of mine has told me to try another holistic approach, "green juicing" and to consult a vegan nutritionist.  He says he had CTS from being a writer, and when he did this diet for at least a week, it went away completely.  So I'll try that also.  No one seems to suggest surgery these days.........

Ann,

You probably have your upper back, T1 and C-7 out of place if you get numbness.  Find a good chiropractor.

You won't need as much massage.

Tennis elbow - inflammation.............coffee (acid), sugar, need anti-inflammatory diet.

Carpal tunnel sounds like a piece of cake compared to what I had!  I had a third row carpectomy.  Three bones in my right wrist died from lack of blood supply, due to a tiny torn ligament.  I had pain for two years before they figured out what was wrong.  I was off for three months, but getting back into working.  I think you'll be fine and be able to return to reporting!  Feel better!

Sorry to hear about that.  Sounds dreadful!  Thanks.

I reported for over 20 years with no wrist pain whatsoever.  I was one of those who thought it would never happen to me.  About 3 years ago it started, numbness, tingling in both wrists that was worse at night, the definitive carpal tunnel symptoms.  At the beginning the left was worse than the right, but I have come to learn it's usually worse in your dominant hand.  I started with creams, progressed to braces, exercises, continued on to shots.  Each offered limited relief but always the symptoms continued to get worse. Then I had a nerve conduction study showing severe carpal tunnel in the left, moderate to severe in the right.  By this point I was waking up 10 times a night in excruciating pain.  I usually had to get out of bed and dangle my arm down to relieve the pain and get feeling back in my hand.  I continued reporting but I have to say there were times that I know my fingers were hitting the keyboard but I couldn't feel it.  Kind of scary.  

 The writing was on the wall, I needed relief and my last resort was surgery.  I opted for the newer endoscopic carpal tunnel release and it was an absolute miracle.  I had the left wrist done last year and I just had the right wrist done this February.  Both times I had surgery on a Tuesday and I was back to work the next week. There was still some black and blue showing, but the fingers moved fine.  Some residual swelling in the palm area continued for several weeks afterward, but that was a minor inconvenience.  And each night following the surgeries I slept like a baby, no pain whatsoever, so there was instant relief.

I have to say I really don't think it was repetitive motion that caused my carpal tunnel problems.  My doctor seemed to think in my case it was two-fold:  first I have always had a tendency to sleep with my hands in what he termed the "fetal position", basically curled up under the pillow or propping up my head.  Eight hours of that every night presses on the nerves.  And unfortunately, ladies, that change of life thing involves more than just hot flashes.  When that estrogen starts running out, the inflammation starts creeping in.  Lucky us.

Good luck in whatever treatment you decide to pursue, but don't be afraid of the surgery.  It worked for me after everything else failed.

 

Cynthia - I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience.  It's very helpful, and I will consider the surgery as a last resort.  A week without work is fine, but I heard six weeks, and that would be financially troublesome to me!  I'm delighted to hear from someone who has experienced it! 

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