Anesthesia question

    • Anonymous
      August 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm

      I read Suzanne’s post with interest, especially since I am having my first carpal tunnel fixed on Thursday–Aug 7, with plans to do the second one in 6 to 8 weeks. (We’re getting a new grandson in November and I need to be well enough to help my daughter then.)

      I had GBS in Nov 05. It was diagnosed 10 days after my second total knee surgery. I noticed the fatigue and weakness at the end of the rehab after surgery. (The first total knee was 8 weeks previous.) My doctor thinks I was getting GBS before the second knee surgery since my vital signs were elevated the morning I was admitted.

      I had a flu shot about 12 days before the second knee surgery and my doctor attributes my GBS to the flu shot.

      Carpal tunnel came on very suddenly 5-6 weeks ago with both hands going numb and hurting–the pain and numbness in most of the hands continues intermittantly, but I have continuous numbness in my fingertips. (Deja vu) After all the examinations and nerve testing, the diagnosis is severe carpal tunnel. I cannot live like this so surgery is the only real option. (I don’t think I can really chew off my arms and get a job riding a unicycle in the circus!)

      I have read on past forums that anesthesia, even conscious sedation, can sometimes cause a relapse of GBS. (Not that fun the first time, I don’t want to do it again!) Due to the proximity of the second knee surgery and the onset of GBS, I’m a little nervous about the possibility that the GBS might have been related to the surgery.

      My hand surgeon is one who likes his patient to have a general anesthetic so he doesn’t have to worry about them being numb enough for the procedure. However, there is a possibility I can have a nerve block with or without additional sedation for this surgery.

      Does anyone have any experience with this or any suggestions? Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Anonymous
      August 5, 2008 at 3:20 pm

      I know from previous posts that they do adjust the anaesthetic for the GBS patient so you want to be sure you tell the doctors.

      I want to mention something though. A lot of us have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, myself included. Some have had the surgery and it did not fix the problem. Probably because it is not carpal tunnel, but rather GBS related. My understanding is that CT does not come on suddenly as yours seems to have. There should be some warning signs.

      I chose to not have the surgery as I was not convinced it was CT. I went out and bought a good set of CT hand splints because either way, GBS or CT related, the nerve is aggravated. I wore them faithfully every night for about 6 months and did the CT exercises that I got off the web. It was a huge improvement for me. Now, whenever my hands and wrists start to hurt again, I get out the splints and do the exercises and they work! I am not convinced that we all could have CT. I do not do repetitive type of work that would cause this to happen.

      You may want to get a second opinion or talk to a neurologist about GBS residuals. Food for thought.

    • Anonymous
      August 5, 2008 at 6:09 pm

      Just to support Janet I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel in both hands after GBS but my neurologist told me he thought it was much more likely I had residuals since my hands had been paralyzed. I too wear splints when necessary and purchased a silly putty type of stuff to squeeze when the pain gets bad and it works very well for giving me some relief. I have heard others who have had the surgery later regret it, so I would say give it a lot of thought before going through another surgery. My neurologist also told me if it were residuals the surgery would not help. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      August 5, 2008 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks, Janet. I have worried some that this is GBS-related and not really Carpal Tunnel. Thanks for the suggestion to get another opinion.

    • Anonymous
      August 5, 2008 at 7:27 pm

      I just want to add that it is a very painful surgery. My sister went for it and had her first hand done and now says she will never have the other hand done. I experience pain differently now than I did pre GBS so I worry that it may be even worse for those of us who had GBS. 🙁 I tend to have periods of heightened pain and then periods where I don’t feel things much at all. I am not sure I would risk the surgery for myself at this point.

    • Anonymous
      August 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm

      Janet and Jeff, I have to agree with both of your posts. I have alot of residuals in both hands from GBS. You do know the Drs. get paid big bucks for doing surgery…don’t you ???? I don’t believe everything a Dr. has too say.
      Have a good day.