Pain Two Years After CTS Surgery


I have significant pain, swelling and weakness in my hands. This began about 6 months after my surgery and has gotten progressively worse. My fingers are so swollen I have not worn my rings for 9 months and when I bend my fingers something is popping inside. I don’t have much of a grip any longer and have lost a lot of strength. The pain is bad and I have to use my hands for work. I fear having another surgery, which is what my physician recommended without much explanation, but I don’t want them to get worse by not acting. I welcome feedback/suggestions.


If there is visible swelling that usually indicates that there is a problem other than CTS, though one has to qualify that with the comment that the fingers often feel swollen subjectively if you have CTS - they are just a normal size if you measure them. To analyse the situation fully you need nerve conduction study results from before your surgery, a record of how the symptoms changed from before to after surgery, any comments from the surgeon on what was seen at operation, how the operation was done, and a new set of nerve conduction results now, possibly along with some ultrasound imaging and a few blood tests for indicators of rheumatic diseases. JB


Yeah even the surgery isn’t always effective. Pretty much once you’ve had this neuropathy you’re stuck with some sort of side effects after even if you’ve had surgery. I know quite a few people who had the surgery and they still have permanent numbness and some of their fingers and weakness. Cortizone shots are useless to because all they do is promote more injury to your tendons and muscles for such a little gain. So once you got it you usually have some sort of issue with it for the rest of your life even if you get surgery. Sucks but it is what it is that’s life.


That's an overly pessimistic view and the information here on the website gives a more balanced picture of the average outcome of treatment. The commonest reasons for surgery failing are:

a) misdiagnosis - hardly surprising that it doesn;t work

b) leaving it too late - again hardly surprising that a dead nerve does not recover well

c) inadequate surgery - which still accounts for about half of all failures

I am afraid you are completely wrong about steroid injections. I'm not going to censor the posting but this sentence:

"Cortizone shots are useless to because all they do is promote more injury to your tendons and muscles for such a little gain."

... is simply incorrect. Please read the pages of this site which describe what is known (and what is unknown) about steroid injections for CTS. There is a great deal of scientific evidence on the topic, even if not as much as I would like. Virtually none of it supports the above view. JB

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