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WWYD?- Carpal Tunnel

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#1 hrobo

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:59 PM

I got diagnosed with severe carpal tunnel on Monday after only a few weeks of pain getting progressively worse.
I've been told surgery is the only outcome.

Today, the pain has become unbearable and has spread to my pinky with shooting pain up my arm to my elbow.

Should I go to emergency? Or wait until I can get booked in for surgery?

#2 Jenflea

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:04 PM

ring the Health-line number in your area and ask them. they can advise if it's ER serious or not.

#3 ~ky~

Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:50 AM

Sounds like normal carpal tunnel tendon pain which is what I have lived with for the past 23 years. Certainly not something to rush to the ER about.

Your GP will refer you to a hand clinic or plastic/hand surgeon. You will be required to undergo a nerve conduction study to determine how serious it is and where you should be placed on a waiting list. I have been on several waiting lists and have moved towns/states just before reaching the top which is why I am still waiting for surgery.

Taking an anti imflammatory may help somewhat but it cannot be a long term solution. Personally, I take nothing as it doesn't dull the pain enough for the risk to my stomach etc to be worth it.

I now have private health insurance and will be having my first wrist done later this year. The second will be done at the end of the year.

#4 ourlittlegirls

Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:10 PM

I have had splints made and they have helped a lot. I didn't get the off the shelf ones from the chemist but went to get them fitted especially. Cost a little more but it has been fantastic.

I wear mine at night, and during the day if the pain is bad. Mine started during pregnancy and got very bad. I wore the splints a lot then. It is a lot better now, but still flares up now and then and so the splints come out.

#5 hoohoobump

Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:22 PM

Pain in your little finger and elbow does not = carpal tunnel
It may be an increase in the compression to the neighbouring nerve.

Carpal tunnel is compression of the median nerve, usually means thumb, index, middle and 1/2 ring fingers.

Have you had nerve conduction studies to confirm the diagnosis? How does your neck feel?

If the pain is that severe, get assessed by a hand specialist or hand therapist (OT or Physio who specialises in hands). Look on the Australian Hand Therapy Association website for therapists.

If you are a public patient and have that amount of rapid increase in symptoms/pain in a few weeks, you certainly have a case for an earlier review. See the GP again for another referral.

#6 mummabear

Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:06 PM


Have a look at this! This causes numbness in the same way Carpal Tunnel does, but from the Ulnar nerve in your elbow, affecting ring and pinky fingers!

#7 Domestic Goddess

Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:09 PM

I have had to do an ultrasound of my right hand, followed by a nerve conduction test.
There's a 10-12 month waitinglist for surgery if you're not private.
My GP gave me a cortizone injection in my wrist and I swear by it. Yes it made the pain sooooo much worse for the first 2 days after the injections. I cried in pain and got mum to take DS as I couldn't move my fingers.
But after the 2nd day, the pain was gone. The carpal tunnel was still there as my wrist was/is still swollen, but the cortizone injection has significantly reduced my pain for 2 months at a time. So I now get an injection every 2 months while waiting for surgery.
Oh and if the pain is worse at night, buy a good splint. Its worth the money!

Carpal tunnel is not something they will do much about if you go to emergency. I mean, you can go and see the ER, but you might end up waiting some time before you get seen.

#8 Sunny003

Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:28 PM

I'd find a Massuer who treats CT.

Mum had surgey on one hand and was due to have the other one done when I spoke to my Massuer. He got me to send her in, he did 2 treatments I think & it's never played up since.


#9 Handsfull

Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:36 PM

I got it while I was pregnant with my girls.  I had physio and a splint done.  It got so painful but went after I had the babies.

I still have the splint and still use it when I get wrist pain.  Works a treat.

I would see a specialist if you have not done so yet and get an opinion.  Def try hand therapy/physio so see if it makes a difference over a period of time.  If not then proceed with surgery.  Everyone's pain with carpal tunnel is different and can be very debilitating.  

Hope it improves whichever way you choose.

#10 Appletree25

Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:40 PM

I have had it for approx 15 years and it seems to run in  the family (grandmother had it, mum, aunt and uncle also suffer from it. But only my aunt has had an operation) Mine us worse around report writing time. I managed it so far without medication except for pain killers. I use splints, visits to my ostepath and with remedial massage. So far no operations are needed.

Edited by Appletree25, 01 March 2013 - 08:42 PM.

#11 Therese

Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:49 PM

It's often worth giving health direct a ring on 1800 022 222.

Good luck.

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