Jenny H

Jenny Homewood

I live in Cornwall and had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand in December last year which was very successful and on my left hand 7 weeks ago. I am a secretary and returned to work 3 weeks after surgery but then 5 weeks after surgery started to get awful tingling right over my hand and have to hold my hand down to my side to relieve the tingling and my two middle fingers and thumb already numb from before and after the surgery are much worse and now have pain particularly in the top inch of my middle finger. My surgeon says I have inflammation around the scar tissue - it is still reddish, painful to touch and very sore. I had a NCS done last November showing left hand nerve damage was worse than the right hand and now am awaiting an appointment for a repeat NCS on the left hand - after reading your website I asked either for a ultrasound or MRI scan to see what was happening to cause the worsening of the symptoms of numbness and tingling 5 weeks after surgery but he wouldn't do that saying as I have inflammation it wouldn't show up anything clearly. I am scared that he didn't open up the tunnel correctly in the first op and the nerve is still pinched or trapped in some way but he said he felt he had opened it up correctly but I guess he would say that. He did say depending on the result of the NCS he would do a second op taking some soft tissue from around the fleshy area to the right of the incision to cushion the nerve but cannot consider a second op whilst I have the scar tissue and nerve inflammation - I am now off work and have been for two weeks with another week signed off - he cannot give me a time line of when I can return to work and how long it will take for the inflammation to heal - just said however long it takes which is not very helpful. I am not sleeping very well because of the discomfort but the worry that there is no improvement day on day - I am very stressed.

>> I have an appraisal with my company next week I would like to ask if I can return to work - I don't type all the time - even though typing with the numbness is unpleasant with the tingling but am I harming myself doing that if I return? My symptoms are very scary and don't know why the result following the left hand op is so painful or exactly what has happened.

I do have a copy at home of the NCS study carried out last November before I had the op on my right hand but have no means of scanning it in to my computer to send it to you as I am not at work to use the printer scanner there as I do not have a printer at home. I will see if I can get a copy done somehow to let you see it.

I started to do the questionnaire on your website when I tried to log in previously but it seemed to be for someone who thinks they have CTS but of course I have already had the two ops so thought that it really didn't apply to me as I was further on from that so I didn't complete it so the numbers shown should be disregarded as it is incomplete.

I wondered if a steroid injection might help ease the pain but I didn't think of that when I saw the consultant on Tuesday but he didn't suggest it. I just don't know what to say to my company next week about when I can return to work - how long does inflammation around the nerve and scar tissue take to heal? The consultant won't consider doing a second op whilst the scar tissue and nerve are still inflamed.

I would appreciate any advice please.


Thanks for moving onto the website from email. I'll go over this again when we have the NCS results. JB

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