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Had hand carpel tunnel surgery, have pain in hands, arm, numbness and swelling. Have cervical radiculopathy and herniated disc

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1998
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Hi Doctor, I am schedule to have a left hand carpal tunnel surgery soon due to workmen comp, I had my right hand done over three years ago, I still have constant pain in my right hand, fingers and arm, numbness, tingling, sharp pain shooting up the arm, swelling in wrist area still. I go to my workmen comp doctor and all he says is to follow up with him in six weeks and go for physical therapy, he hands me a script, all while pushing for surgery. The insurance company stopped the physical therapy close to two years now. I don't want to have the surgery, don't think that is the problem and want to get my right arm, hands and fingers better before. They want me to have the surgery now or they will close my case. They don't care if I am in pain etc. I went to an neuroglist, on my private insurance, two years ago and he said I have straightening of the cervical lordosis may be related to muscle spasms. He also wrote that I have bilateral cervical radiculopathy and lumbar herniated disc. My neuroglist didn't want to connect the dots with the pain in my arms and neck. At first he said it was connected, then I told him to write it down for me for w/c and that is when he changed his mind. I had an emg test in November 2010, from my own doctor, my private insurance, found no carpal tunnel, but still have pain to this day. I think all my pain in my arms, elbows, hands, wrists and fingers are all coming from my neck. Why don't these w/c doctors do anything, on my case it is mention that I have pain in both arms, elbows and wrists? They want to do surgery without taking a emg test, last time I had one done with them was five years ago which turned out I didn't have carpal tunnel, and the year before said I had severe carpal tunnel in both hands. They okay surgery without taking any tests in five years but deny me physical therapy and doesn't care at all about my pain on my right side. I would appreciate your words. I am not having surgery on my left hand, didn't tell them yet, waiting to get an up-to-date MRI on my neck, should be done any day now. Thanks, XXXXX
Posted Wed, 18 Sep 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Gandhi 53 minutes later
Brief Answer:
cervical disc compression may be likely cause

Detailed Answer:
I have studied your case with diligence.

Cervical loss of lordosis and associated cervical disc compression causes pain and pins and needle sensation into your arms and hand.
Your EMG study also does not support diagnosis of analgesic to get relief.
Physiotherapy in form of ultrasound, TENS, and if required cervical auto-traction has helped many of my patients.
As you are not having any relief from previous surgery and your diagnosis of carpal tunnel is not confirmed I will advise not to go for surgery.
MRI cervical spine will be helpful in further diagnosis

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Take care
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