Severly painful thumb


I am a 35 year old female that had CTS, joint cleaned, and tendon moved on my right hand. I had the surgery on 1-08-13. I am really pleased with the surgery. My wrist is no longer hurting. My fingers aren't numb and the surgery scars are fabulous! My only problem is my thumb, which was only tingling before surgery. After surgery the pad on my hand below the thumb was super tender and slightly bruised. I mentioned this to the nurse when they removed my stitches. She said this was normal and some peoples whole hand is bruised. My thumb didn't hurt at the time, so I was assuming the pad would continue to heal. Which it has. I don't have any pain in my hand and only a little tenderness in my wrist when I move it. But my thumb is now killing me!! It feels like both joints are broke! I can't even pump down on a soap dispenser! Opening a jar or bottle is out of the question! I was hoping it would improve, but it's been about a week and the pain is nearly unbearable! Is this a normal problem?


No that's not really a 'normal' recovery from CTS surgery, at least if by 'normal' we mean the experience of the vast majority of patients. Usually only a little simple analgesia - paracetamol or ibuprofen - is all that is needed so one can fairly say that this is not generally a very painful operation in the recovery phase. On the other hand your operation was not just an ordinary carpal tunnel decompression as you describe them also doing something to the joint and a tendon move  - 'ordinary' carpal tunnel surgery does not involve any interference with either the joints or tendons - so in this case it is possible that the post-operative symptoms are something to do with whatever else has been done. The only person who can really answer your question is therefore your surgeon, who is the only person who will be fully aware of the exact procedure. I would be interested to know exactly what has been done as it sounds like quite an unusual operation, and also curious as to how it turns out in the end. JB


Hope you dont mind me asking, but did you find out what the other problem was with your thumb? It sounds quite similar to me! I have been told I have Basal Arthritis and CTS. I am currently waiting to see a surgeon. :-( Would love to hear from you! x

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