carpal tunnel

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Forum topic by learnin2do posted 08-11-2010 11:24 PM 2241 views 0 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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889 posts in 3052 days

08-11-2010 11:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I think i spelled that right -
I know some of you guys must have had this surgery. I’m starting to panic. I don’t like doctors or hospitals or being told not to -especially not to do any woodworking

-has anyone experienced this ? & can you tell me your experience. I feel like i’m going to pass out even thinking about it.

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

51 replies so far

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3282 days

#1 posted 08-11-2010 11:30 PM

Are you getting ready to have it? My dad had it (he’s a welder) cause his hands were going numb. It got so bad that he actually broke his toe because his hands went numb while he was carry a piece of steel and he dropped it on his foot. He had the surgery on both hands (with time in between of course) and he’s doing good now. He’s back to welding again and doesn’t seem to complain about any pain or numbness. Good luck. Sorry to hear you may have to give up woodworking for a while. Will give you time to read up on new techniques though. Best wishes.

-- Matt -

View ClayandNancy's profile


520 posts in 3216 days

#2 posted 08-11-2010 11:34 PM

I had my right hand done in 98”. I was an auto mechanic for Chrysler for 30 years, air tools vibrate the snot out of your hands. Took a few months of healing and I was back at it with no problems. When I said healing I meant regaining all my strength in the hand. I went back to work after 6 weeks, just had to watch not trying to use my hand to bang wheel covers back on. Never used the pain meds they gave me. Good luck, you’ll do OK

View Pipemaker's profile


16 posts in 3048 days

#3 posted 08-11-2010 11:40 PM

Here is a link to the Neuro Website – it may answer some questions and possibly alay some fears concering this procedure. If you have any questions present them to the surgeon or their nurse and don’t let them brush you off or med speak you. I think it is a valuable and frequently successful surgery but I don’t practice in neuro so this is the only advice I feel confident in giving. Just remember you are the customer.

Ray Hughes, RN

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6301 posts in 3395 days

#4 posted 08-12-2010 12:10 AM

Greetings Christine,

Hey… not to worry…. a piece of cake… I had both of mine done 2 years ago at the same time.
It’s a pretty simple procedure….they put you to sleep, open up the “tunnel” in your wrist, do the surgery,
and put about 4- 5 stitches in. They will wrap your hand(s) real good to protect them till they heal….
It’s not as difficult to do things as youy would think, like eating, getting dressed, and mainly you just use your fingers for small things…Just remember NOT to put your hands down to lift yourself out of a chair, etc. I still had a little numbness in my fingers for quite a while, but the feeling came back slowly, and had no more trouble with them. I even had my wife to remove the stitches, instead of going back in to let the Dr. do it…saved an office visit, and $. Oh yea…..the only thing my wife wouldn’t do for me… involved toliet paper….lol… Go ahead…...get ‘er done!!!!!! You’ll be glad you did, I promise…..... The sooner the better…....

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3275 days

#5 posted 08-12-2010 12:32 AM

I was diagnosed with carpel tunnel when I was still working and spending a lot of time on a keyboard. My doctor advised taking heavy doses of vitamin B-12. That gave me some relief. Retiring from my professional career gave me even more relief.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18390 posts in 3877 days

#6 posted 08-12-2010 12:58 AM

One ofd teh things that causes me to use more power tools. I was warned about screw drivers when I was an apprentice :-)) Lucky break!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Woodwrecker's profile


4200 posts in 3776 days

#7 posted 08-12-2010 07:56 AM

You’re young enough to breeze right through it.
Get yourself fixed up & healed.
You turn out some cool projects and they are worth waiting for.
Good luck.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3127 days

#8 posted 08-12-2010 04:23 PM

When I was a little younger I was told three years into my framing business that I had to change jobs, and reduce the stress on my wrist for at least a year.

I wrapped it, didn’t play raquetball for a week, his diagnosis really worried me so I went to another doctor and got a second opinion.

Haven’t had a problem in the last 30 years.

Maybe a second opinion?

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Clarence's profile


125 posts in 3307 days

#9 posted 08-12-2010 05:16 PM

My experience was like that of Rick Dennington’s. Had both done, a year apart, two and three years ago. My fingers were tingly and numb; I could reach in my pocket and not be able to distinguish a quarter from a washer. Numbness and pain went all the way up my arms.

Some slight pain for a few hours after the surgery, never enough to pop a Percoset. By the next day I was having to continually remind myself that I had a bobo on my hand and to be careful. I resumed my outdoor chores—-cutting firewood, piling brush, etc., just being careful to not bump the incision or stretch the stitches. I could easily chord my guitar the second day. I think by using my hands I recovered a lot quicker than those who baby their hands after surgery.

Do it again? Absolutely. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t be typing this message—-wouldn’t be able to.

The pre-surgery nerve test was a “shocking” experience, but nothing to dread.

-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.

View Vicki's profile


1106 posts in 3545 days

#10 posted 08-12-2010 05:17 PM

It’s a breeze now a day. I was only off work 10 days if memory serves. Next to no pain. Just a nuisance to wear the big bulky bandage when trying to compute or shower. Now I have no problems almost 8 yrs later. Well worth it.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3180 days

#11 posted 08-12-2010 05:42 PM

I went to a chiriopractor. He gave me a brace for my wrist and exercises. I don’t have any problems any more. I also know two other people that did the same thing,with same results. Might be worth a try for you.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View RSCustomwoodworking's profile


13 posts in 3051 days

#12 posted 08-12-2010 10:47 PM

Just like all the others. Had the surgery 11 years ago and never skipped a beat. In fact when I was coming out of the anesthetic my fingers felt rough. That’s because for the first time in probably years I could feel my fingerprints, and still can. I spent 8 hours in the shop sanding today… Good luck and have little fear… that is good for us.

-- Mike, Michigan, http/

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3396 days

#13 posted 08-12-2010 11:32 PM

I can’t speak of the surgery, but my mom did have carpal tunnal. She would just wear a wrist brace when she slept and sometimes throughout the day. It helped her a lot.

I’m a software developer and it’s a big concern of mine. I don’t know your occupation or how serious it is and you probably have already heard it before, but I would try into improving ergonomics around you if possible. You want your wrist to be in a neutral position (straight line from wrist to hand) or else the nerve gets pinched when its bent for an extended period. Buy a wristpad for keyboard and mouse, and an ergonomic keyboard if you can, and try to just pay attention to how you are resting your wrists and moving throughout the day.

Checkout this site for some helpful resources there are also hand exercises you can do to help.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View bonehead's profile


45 posts in 3122 days

#14 posted 08-13-2010 12:11 AM

I have done 6 carpal tunnel releases this week.

If you have the correct diagnosis then the surgery is 97% effective improving numbness and tingling.
Most non-pregnant adults who get CTS will have surgery. Here are the options.

Do nothing – sometimes the best choice based on your health.
Activity modification – we all use our hands, work and sleep, therefore kinda hard to do.
Motrin, NSAIDS etc – I have never cured anyone’s CTS with motrin
Splints – work great especial at night, but most patients tell that they lose there efficacy over time.
Injection – work great for about 6 weeks then the CTS comes back. I do NOT use these as treatment but still do them if the patient is miserable and needs time.
Surgery – 97% effective with REAL but minimal risk.

We are taught to the most conservative treatment. But what does that mean? I can certainly string you along for months or years with activity modication, PT, Nsaids, an occassional injection. Or you could have a 20 minute surgical procedure (invasive with risks) that has a 97% success rate and save suffering, sleeplessness, and increase your productivity and get you back to work/life. Which one is the most conservative? It is a rhetorical question.I let the patient decide.

The KEY is having the right diagnosis. Not all hand pain or numbness and tingling is CTS. Just make sure that you are comfortable with your decision and your surgeon. You have plenty of time.

I really is a great procedure plus it supports my woodworking hobby.

PS: I never do 2 hands at once. You need one hand to care of yourself (as Rick mentioned). I am sure that someone loves you but I don’t know if they love you THAT much.

-- All lessons are repeated until learned

View bonehead's profile


45 posts in 3122 days

#15 posted 08-13-2010 12:24 AM

Let me add:

I am really rethinking this “no 2 hands at a time” policy because of peoples deductibles these days. It is not an issue of safety. It is a social thing.

Bottomline: Say, if you deductible is $3000. The patient will have to ask “Honey will you wipe my a$$ for 2 weeks to save $3000 dollars?”

or they need to assume more risk for putting the operative site in a toilet.

Just something to think about.


-- All lessons are repeated until learned

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