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Experiencing tingling and numbness after carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve surgery. Is there any damage?

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Posted on Wed, 20 Mar 2013
Question: I have had carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve surgery on my left arm in Sept 2012. I now have to have the same surgery done on the right on March 7, 2013. I have often complained to my doctor that I don't feel the left arm is completely healed. I am now experiencing the same numbness and tingling in the left again, Stinging pains in my wrist. I was told to wait until the post op appointment to address this concern for the left arm. I fear that the arm will worsen due to the fact that that will be the only arm I have to use. What are the chances that my left arm is still damaged and should I proceed with the right arm surgery and address the left arm issue later? Will it get worst if I wait?
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Answered by Dr. Surendiran Gaj (19 minutes later)
Hi there,
Thanks for writing to us,
Normally it take 6 to 8 months (sometimes a few years) for complete recovery of normal function.
It also depends upon the type of surgery, with the open carpal tunnel surgeries giving better results than the endoscopic and the minimally invasive ones.
If you still find your condition is worsening, it is advisable to intimate your surgeon about the left arm status, since there are possibilities of failure of nerve reconstruction, entrapment after the surgery,resulting in the worsening of your condition. Wait till this gets resolved before you get operated on your right arm as well.
Let me know if you had further questions
thank you and take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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Dr. Surendiran Gaj

Geriatrics Specialist

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 384 Questions

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Experiencing tingling and numbness after carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve surgery. Is there any damage?

Hi there,
Thanks for writing to us,
Normally it take 6 to 8 months (sometimes a few years) for complete recovery of normal function.
It also depends upon the type of surgery, with the open carpal tunnel surgeries giving better results than the endoscopic and the minimally invasive ones.
If you still find your condition is worsening, it is advisable to intimate your surgeon about the left arm status, since there are possibilities of failure of nerve reconstruction, entrapment after the surgery,resulting in the worsening of your condition. Wait till this gets resolved before you get operated on your right arm as well.
Let me know if you had further questions
thank you and take care.