Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ouch that hurts! (aka Why are you wearing that on your arm?)



So about 6 weeks ago I started having problems with my right hand, it was a swollen, my fingers were going numb, my hand was going cold and I was having a lot of pain. I hadn't injured myself (that I was aware of) so I went and saw my doctor and had an x-ray done to check for any bone injury (just in case) and a doppler ultra sound to check the blood flow and look for any blood clots. All of those test came back normal so I went back and they ordered a whole bunch of blood tests and an EMG (to test for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome). Since all of those test came back normal I was referred to a specialist. So I went and saw a sports medicine doctor who specializes in arm and upper body injuries. After looking over my previous tests and looking me over he concluded that I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and possibly Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (because I'm having pain and numbness in my pinky finger which usually isn't caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome). So now he's given me a brace to wear on my elbow (I already have one to wear on my wrist like the one shown above) and I'm supposed to wear the two when working and see if they help at all.


He said the EMG isn't always accurate, especially if the CTS is mild which right now mine is. In a year or so I could have the same test done and it might come back with different results. If I'm not better and/or worse in a month I'm supposed to go back and he'll give a cortisone shot in my carpal tunnel and see if that helps. In the end he told me there isn't much we can do to reverse either condition and eventually it'll probably get worse (hence the approach with the braces and possibly the cortisone shot, trying to fend off the symptoms getting any worse) and I might have to have surgery (but he said it'd probably be YEARS down the road). Thankfully he doesn't think it's anything really serious like arthritis (I'm a bit too young) or Multiple Sclerosis since I'm not having any other symptoms like vision or balance problems and there is no family history of neurological disorders. 

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
Photo from Wedmd


Photo from orthopedics.about.com



CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
Photo from Handsurgery.com



Photo from eorthopod.com



So that's where I'm at right now, so if you see me and my arm looks like I'm ready to go play football that's why.

2 comments:

  1. Ouch. :(

    I'm sorry Rachel. Hopefully the braces will help the pain and discomfort go away and it will stay "mild" and not get worse. *hugs*

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  2. Thanks Hope! Time will tell, thankfully carpal tunnel surgery is very common and apparently pretty simple so if worse comes to worse I should come out alright.

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