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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome




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#1 Ragersilver

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 07:23 AM

I was wondering have any long term wheelchair users have developed Carpal Tunel in there arms and wrists,I have been a para for 30 years and seem to be developing the symptoms.Is surgery an option as I do not want too loose my independence and I have read it casn take months too recover?

Edited by Ragersilver, 08 December 2007 - 10:14 AM.


#2 LadyPilot

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 10:48 AM

I was wondering have any long term wheelchair users have developed Carpal Tunel in there arms and wrists,I have been a para for 30 years and seem to be developing the symptoms.Is surgery an option as I do not want too loose my independence and I have read it casn take months too recover?


Hi, I am 26 years post SCI (as of yesterday) and have had some experience of Carpel Tunnel syndrome. Mine was caused by blunt force trauma to my left wrist seven years ago (b***** dog) Surgery was suggested but like you I was apprehensive and more than a bit reluctant to be faced with a loss of independance, for six weeks. Not being allowed to use the wrist/s is frankly impossible for me.
In the end I declined surgery but have found taking 50-100mg Vitamin B6 daily to be a help. I occasionally get numb hands when I wake up in the morning but a vigourous hand shake usually gets rid of the numbness.

Hope you get your CTS sorted out!
If you don't want to die, your life still has meaning.

#3 kewlcatkez

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 12:27 PM

Hi,

Due to amongst other things my constant dislocations etc (due to connective tissue disorder) I have Dequervains tenosynovitis and some Carpel TS. Before my diagnosis and before paralysis it was suggested that I have surgery. I saw a hand surgeon who wanted to do surgery to my wrist, thumb and elbow ( ulna) At the time I found out that I was pregnant following the appointment. We had had infertility and miscarriages so we put it on the back burner so to speak because I was afraid of a general aneasthetic whilst pregnant.

Now my Specialist says that it is not recommended in my case ( due to the disorder, not nec the paralysis b/c they don't think of that!) and my fear is that it would also be difficult to ensure that I didn't cause damage due to the chair.

I have had Steroid injections a number of times, although that two has its own draw backs and pitfalls and has only a limited help ( for me anyway). In fact the symptoms can be exacerbated initially following a steroid injection. Also you are supposed to rest the joint for a day or so, but of course I have never been able to - so that could bee a factor why the injections haven't been so successful.

Personally, if you do choose to go down the surgery route, I would suggest having an evaluation with a PT/OT to discuss modifying your ADL's to limit the risk of damage to your wrists after the surgery - if thats possible. In an ideal world. Also talk to the surgeon about all the concerns etc..

I wear splints etc at night to try and manage symptoms, but unfortunately nothing really helps ..

I wish you well...


K
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Connective tissue disorder & associated paralysis.

#4 Avocado Baby

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 10:40 PM

Hi there,

I've had Spina Bifida since birth 28 years so have been a paraplegic, wheelchair user all my life

I'm having similar problems. I wake up in the morning and have a numb hand and arm, which also seems to feel like it's burning. I've been to the physio and they said it'll be the nerves between my neck/shoulder being trapped in tight muscles (or something) I've looked it up and it's called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome but I think it's pretty much the same as CTS.

I've been advised to keep my head as upright as possible and sit as straight as possible (ha! I have scoliosis!!)

I'll look into the B6 thing.
Paraplegic with Spina Bifida. Sensory and function level is T8. T11-L5 fusion 1993. Laminectomy and decompression T10 2006. Spinal fusion T8-T12 with instrumentation Feb 2007. Moderate kyphoscoliosis. Taking 75mg Lyrica 3xday for neuropathic pain.

#5 russ1

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:58 AM

Yep - I get it from time to time. At the early onset of symptoms I wear carpal tunnel splints at night for a week or so and that seems to sort it for the next few months so if it's not too bad then that could be an option - certainly better than surgery.

Splints not available on prescription but sold at most decent chemists.
Russ - T2complete

#6 Avocado Baby

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 08:34 PM

Cool, I'll get a splint.

Thanks for the advice.
Paraplegic with Spina Bifida. Sensory and function level is T8. T11-L5 fusion 1993. Laminectomy and decompression T10 2006. Spinal fusion T8-T12 with instrumentation Feb 2007. Moderate kyphoscoliosis. Taking 75mg Lyrica 3xday for neuropathic pain.

#7 kewlcatkez

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:46 PM

hi,

I get my splints on prescription, well the OT makes them when I go see my specialist and I get them that way. I know of others, friends and former Patients who also get splints supplied from PT/OT and GPs.
It may be the post code lottery again, but I suggest that anyone needing them should ask about getting them supplied before buying them.

Also, if a person has not had a diagnosis of CTS or whatever, I suggest that they go see a PT or dr and make sure that it is CTS or whatever you think it may be as it ( which ever problem CTS or other tendonitis etc) does affect which splint is used.

HTH

K
Ex Nurse (med retired)
Connective tissue disorder & associated paralysis.

#8 russ1

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:48 AM

I'd echo what kez said - if you haven't had an official diagnosis then get one - the Carpal Tunnel splints won't do you any harm if you don't have CTS but there are similar (but slightly different) symptoms from other trapped nerve type thingies which the CTS splints won't help. The test is simple but does need to be carried out. Go see your GP and get refered for nerve conduction electrodiagnostic tests. As a chair user who relies on your hands your GP should treat it as an emergency - I got a test within two or three weeks. These tests will confirm where the problem lies and how to effectively treat it.

Ali - if you're getting trapped nerves in the shoulders then carpal tunnel splints aren't going to help I'm afraid, sounds similar, just with the nerves being trapped in a diferent place.

Kez - I suspect that if you need specialist made splints then you're always going to get them on prescription - if you just need bog standard neoprene splints then I was told by Doc that they couldn't prescribe them. Cost about a tenner IIRC.

Here's a useful link describing CTS andf the other related conditions of Ulnar Tunnel and Thorsassic Outlet syndromes
Russ - T2complete

#9 kewlcatkez

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 01:27 PM

Kez - I suspect that if you need specialist made splints then you're always going to get them on prescription - if you just need bog standard neoprene splints then I was told by Doc that they couldn't prescribe them. Cost about a tenner IIRC.



Hi Russ,

I think it may be a post code thing then, as although you are right regarding the specialist splinting, I know of several people, some previous Patients who have had them 'given' to them by the PT/GP after consultation. In these cases it is the "off the peg" ones, lol, usually Promedic ones or similar.

You may be right though as things change etc. The thing is nothing is lost by asking as if they *are* on Prescription, and are charged at that rate, it will cost £6, almost £7 vs £10+ in the Chemist. Of course, they would be NHS stylee ones though lol, so it may be worth getting more fancy ones/better colours from the 'to buy' range, especially if its going to be worn in the day ( for other nerve/tendon issues).

In my case, you are correct. Due to the frequent dislocations and tendon/nerve damage as a result, and the fact it affects more obscure areas too, lol, I have specialist splinting made for me by the OTs. This does also mean that I often get to pick different colours to the NHS "beige" though, so every cloud has a silver lining, huh? LOL

Take care,

K
Ex Nurse (med retired)
Connective tissue disorder & associated paralysis.

#10 Avocado Baby

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 05:10 PM

That's a really good site. Thanks.

I have lots of those symtoms, including the clicky finger and thumb! Does that make me a wreck?! :hug:

If it gets bad again, I'll go to the doctor but it's been better since I saw the physio.
Paraplegic with Spina Bifida. Sensory and function level is T8. T11-L5 fusion 1993. Laminectomy and decompression T10 2006. Spinal fusion T8-T12 with instrumentation Feb 2007. Moderate kyphoscoliosis. Taking 75mg Lyrica 3xday for neuropathic pain.


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