Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Carpal Tunnel/ Cubital Tunnel Release Surgery
As you may know from previous posts, I have suffered my entire life with overactive sweat glands on the back of my left hand. It has taken me over 10 years, 5 dermatologists, moving 1200 miles from home, completely new physicians and opinions, to finally discover a possible cause for this. After seeing a Neurologist in Georgia and being put through a nerve Conduction study for the first time, I was diagnosed with severe cubital tunnel syndrome and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome on my left side. It is not on the right side which makes it slightly more convincing that it could be the cause of the sweating. I also experience tenderness, tingling, and numbness on and off on that side. I was scheduled for surgery before the end of the year. I had the surgery two weeks ago now. In case you are wondering, pre-op is very simple, much like any surgery. They gave me a light sedation before doing a nerve block on my left side which was excruciating but I was drowsy so it wasn't too bad. They did extra topical anesthetics on me because of my history of not responding well to pain medicine. I had them keep me on Toradol since I cannot handle any narcotics. The surgery went quick and I woke up with my limp arm in a sling to hold it up. my hand and elbow were wrapped up tight and I was out of there in no time. My recovery consisted on 3 days of pain and swelling before I realized I needed to elevate and ice my hand. Then when I got through that weekend I immediately started touching my fingers together and trying to use the hand little bits at a time. After a week I was doing really good, bandages off, showering myself, driving with one arm, starting to pick things up with the arm. After two weeks I am almost completely normal. The steri-strips are gone, no stitches just some glue, but I am using my hand completely and applying pressure to it like door knobs and the steering wheel. I am glad I went through with the procedure, however, I am not noticing any immediate results. The hand is still sweating, though it may be due to the irritation of the nerve as it heals. The numbness and tingling are worsened as the wrist and palm now ache off and on and get sore with movement. The elbow just hurts when pressure is on it. I have been told expect 5 weeks for complete healing and tenderness to go away. I have also been told it can take a year or two for nerves to fully recover when damage has been done so it may take awhile for me to know if this was a permanent fix or not. I do plan to keep everyone up to date as time goes on.