Carpal Tunnel after GBS?
AnonymousAugust 18, 2006 at 2:29 pm
Ben’s neurologist thinks he may have carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms. Ben has recently begun to feel tingling in the fingertips on both hands. When the neurologist hit his inner arms with the reflex stick, Ben felt the tingling from his fingers to his elbows. He is scheduled to have an EMG in two weeks. I know his tingling symptoms are pretty common in GBS and was wondering if anyone had been diagnosed with carpal tunnel? Ben has never done a lot of typing, but he plays the guitar and piano. Also, what can he expect from the EMG? Is it going to hurt? The nurse says it won’t, but she’s never had GBS.
AnonymousAugust 18, 2006 at 2:56 pm
I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome after GBS and had all the tests done. I was scheduled to have surgery and met wwith the surgeon the day before surgery and he tested me and there were absolutely no symptoms at that time. This said to me that this was just some more GBS weirdness.
I did talk to a neurologist that did say that people who have had GBS tend to sleep with their wrist curled, kind of like a squirrell, and this can cause problems. If wore wrist braces for about a week at night and broke the habit of curling my wrists in an exagerated position and never had a problem after that.
With all that said, Ben may very well have carpal tunnel, but treat any diagnosis with a healthy bit of skepticism.
AnonymousAugust 18, 2006 at 5:49 pm
Yes you can expect some pain during your EMG. Anytime you send small or any jolts of electricity through tiny needles into your mussle, it’s going to hurt. I’ve had it done three times now. Think of the many who have gone throught this test before you and were able to tolerate it. You will experience some pain, but you doctor will also gain some very valuable information about your GBS. be well
Live for today look foward for tomorrow
AnonymousAugust 18, 2006 at 11:04 pm
Shannon & Ben ~ please remember how the residuals of GBS come and go. Most docs don’t seem to understand this. I have a friend who had carpal surgery and she’s worse off now ~ no strength in the wrists and has to wear supports all of the time. Perhaps you might adjust your wrist activity for a couple of weeks and see how things are. Good luck.
AnonymousAugust 19, 2006 at 1:15 pm
Thanks for your responses. The neurologist did tell us to get the wrist braces; I just don’t know where to begin looking for some. Walgreen’s, I suppose. I’ll take a closer look at his hands tonight and see how he’s sleeping. I’d never heard of the squirrel thing before, so that could explain a lot.
Everytime we go see the neurologist, I always have a little more information about GBS residuals to give him. I’ll tell him about this at our next appointment.
Judi – Good to see you back! Hope you had a great vacation!
AnonymousSeptember 10, 2006 at 2:13 pm
Ben had an EMG last week, and the neurologist confirmed that he does have Carpal Tunnel. I asked a lot of questions about how this might be GBS-related, but the doctor said he tested the nerves that would have been affected by GBS, and they were fine. I told him Ben would not be having another surgery. He didn’t really respond to that since he isn’t Ben’s regular neurologist; he just told us to talk to Ben’s neurologist at Ben’s next appointment.
AnonymousSeptember 10, 2006 at 2:33 pm
I had carpal tunnel syndrome before GBS. I found that I was indeed sleeping, as Lee said, with wrists curled “like a squirrel”. I wore the wrist braces for about a month, and the carpal tunnel problem went away.
I occassionally still get symptoms, and when I do, I am careful to watch the position my wrists are in during sleep. Sure enough, when I forget and sleep with curled wrists, the symtoms return. Hope this helps Ben avoid surgery.
Medical supply places or sports medicine places carry the braces.
AnonymousSeptember 11, 2006 at 4:17 am
Shannon, to have carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists at the same time must be exceedingly rare. Carpal tunnel is due to pressure on the median nerve (one of the three nerves to the hand) in the tunnel of fascia passing through the wrist. Common precursors are wrist fractures, osteoarthritis of the wrist and myxoedema ( very underactive thyroid).
The sensory area supplied by the nerve is the thumb, index, middle and near side of the fourth finger.
The muscles supplied are the small muscles at the base of the thumb. These muscles raise the thumb at right angle to the palm (abductor pollicis brevis), oppose thumb and fifth finger (opponens pollicis) bring the thumb firmly to the side of the base of the index (adductor policis brevis) and extend the index finger at the first joint (lumbrical muscle).
Signs include forced flexion of the wrist exacerbating symptoms, percussion over the tunnel with a patella hammer causing pins and needles. Niether of these are definitive.
Common differential diagnoses include compression of the nerve roots in the neck due to cervical spondylosis (usually osteoarthritis). And in our case peripheral neuropathy.
A number of people with GBS/CIDP were erroneously diagnosed with carpal tunnel early in their stories.
Treatment may involve reduction of obesity, injection of hydrocortisone with local anaesthetic into the tunnel, or finally decompression surgery. DocDavid
AnonymousSeptember 12, 2006 at 9:47 am
Curled hands are a given in most quadripligia cases. Natural way for hands to go when not working properly. You may want to put that thought in a neuro’s head, give them a sliver to open their thinking, and instead of trying to be right, make a diagnoses, like carprul tunnel, braces or not, but complete rangeing and time just might be the answer.
AnonymousSeptember 13, 2006 at 10:47 pm
I also was diagnosed with Carpel Tunnel in both wrists at the same time. I wore braces on my wrists for about a week and it helped. I find that it comes and goes, like right now it is coming. It worsens with the more typing I do, playing guitar or piano will cause it to worsen as well. It is the position he is holding his wrists when he is playing. Has he tried the braces while he plays? Just a thought! With these residual problems you just have to experiment with different things, you’ll eventually find something that works for you. Also, I had nerve conduction studies to diagnose my Carpel Tunnel. It did hurt. Best of Luck, Stay positive it is the most important thing to get through these things.
AnonymousSeptember 13, 2006 at 11:10 pm
Oh I had to get out of the habit of sleeping like a squirrel too! My Occupational Therapist told me to not let anyone talk me in to having the surgery for Carpel Tunnel right now. Let the body heal and then see how I feel. All the problems I was having have all went away. Just by changing my sleeping habits and positions. I was told to HUG a big pillow to keep my wrists from being curled up tight. Everyone is different and maybe this will help someone relieve some pain in some tiny way! Did my shoulders good too from closing in on my chest during the night and making me feel uncomfortable around where the trache was. By spreading my shoulder back wards during the day also strenghtened those muscle so now I don’t use the pillow much anymore! 😎
AnonymousSeptember 14, 2006 at 1:41 pm
I forgot to mention something else that helps me greatly.
Even after stopping the curled wrist sleeping, I am prone to recurrances of the syndrome, I think this is partly because I still have a lot of neuropatic pain and nerve damage in might right wrist (I’m right handed).
I switched from using a mouse with my computer to using a graphics pen and tablet. It keeps the wrist in a different position and has helped to prevent the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome problem from recurring.
The pen/tablet accessory is about $200 and does everything that the mouse does, but for me is easier to use. Wacom makes mine in several sizes and colors.
Hope Ben is doing better.
AnonymousSeptember 14, 2006 at 1:59 pm
Curling hands are a natural position of sorts, like feet pointing toes straight downward, or the foot outward, when at rest. You flop into bed, get relaxed, and for an instant or more, you’ll see your feet do it automatically. When no nerves in that area, hands or feet are still at rest. Stays that way too long, and what’s at risk? Tendon plyability. Shrinks, just like the webbing between your thumb and index part of the hand, if not used.
Braces are used for just that, keep them streatched out in the natural working order, and a huge concern in the quad area, or the tri area like Susanne. She could just lay her hand on the mouse, relax and don’t use it, wait a year or sooner, and her hand will mold itself around it permanently, freezing tendons that lost plyability. Cupping.
Why docs need to be reminded of where they learned all this stuff from on hand curling, which is the quad field. They don’t diagnose carpral tunnel much then. Just looks different and a different degree. Which looks like a lot of other stuff to. Just like GBS does.
AnonymousSeptember 14, 2006 at 2:58 pm
OK Young lady, this is like talking to Will, he doesn’t listen to me either. Remember at the meeting when I said not all things are GBS related? I waited for years to tell my Dr about my hands. By then I had some more nerve damage on top of what GBS did to me. I did get the braces from a PT. They formed them to my hands. They were VERY light and comfortable. I wore them after the operations too. My hands feel great now and much stronger. I did not have any pain and for the first time did what the Dr said. Maybe that’s why no pain :p
Looking forward to seeing you two next month. Any ideas on a wedding gift?:confused:
AnonymousSeptember 15, 2006 at 11:42 am
My neurologist thought I had carpel tunnel also. He did the test on my wrist and everything came out positive for carpel tunnel. My hands are still numb and tingly. But the pain has gone away. For some reason the gbs residual just fooled him. I would wait and see what happens. goodluck to your,
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