Angry to get diagnosis


I have experienced tingling, numbness, and some pain in my fingers/hands for the past few years finding my fine motor skills becoming increasingly non-existent in my right hand. I have mentioned it to doctors and pharmacists and been told that it was probably due to the side-effects of some of my meds, particularly those for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Sixteen months ago we retired from Essex to North Wales and so, of course, I have a new GP. Recently I mentioned the problems with my hands to him - and he looked at them and seemed quite startled to see that in my right hand I had severe muscle wastage at the base of my thumb. Last Saturday I went to Ysbyty Llandudno for nerve conduction testing. Result: the problem with my right hand is 'unsalvageable' to the extent that there was NO movement in my thumb when the current was applied; my left hand indicates problems that probably can be alleviated with minor surgery. The only good news was that the tingling/numbness/pain in my right hand probably won't get any worse. So, I'm angry that none of this was picked up by the medical professionals I saw in Essex.
With the above knowledge I was surprised to get a score on the questionnaire in the mid-50s. But that's the least of my problems.


Mid-50s is pretty suggestive of CTS - generally I recommend that anyone with a score >20% should be checked out for CTS. Sometimes the most severe cases do have somewhat atypical symptoms because the clinical picture is then dominated by loss of nerve function rather than irritation of the median nerve. It is indeed a pity that the condition was not recognised earlier. Interestingly I worked at Llandudno hospital many years ago and there was no neurophysiology there in 1981 so I'm curious as to who is doing it now. They are being a little too pessimistic about the prospects for treating the right hand. Even with the most severe CTS about 50% of patients will get useful benefit from surgery and in particular the tingling and pain is likely to improve with treatment. It is the muscle wasting and numbness which tends not to recover. JB

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