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Thread: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

  1. #1
    Registered User dulcillini's Avatar
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    Default Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Good Evening Café Friends: I am contemplating carpal tunnel surgery, both hands. I have mixed feelings about this. Have any of you been through this. How did it affect your mandolin playing. I am not sure I want to put myself through this. I would feel more comfortable if I heard from other players.

    Thanks to all.
    Michael A. Harris
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  2. #2
    Registered User sloanypal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Frank Solivan had it done on his left hand earlier this year. Saw him play late April and again not too long ago. Looks like he recovered quite nicely. He may see this and respond himself, but I did find a blog that he started...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az9RMCnhTbA
    Sloan Hamilton

  3. #3
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    I had the procedure done after having delayed too long to prevent permanent muscle atrophy to my left hand. The recovery was six weeks before I resumed playing guitar and mandolin. I wish I hadn't waited so long to have the surgery.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    I had this done in early October. There are two different surgeries, one is a two inch incision, one a quarter inch hole. I had the former on my left hand. I waited too long. I practiced tremolo on open strings for two weeks. When I had bandages removed, I started fretting just a bit. At week four I could play simple fiddle tunes and chord with two fingers. By this time I was playing untill I became too sore, maybe twenty minutes. A couple hours later, I'd do it again. I probably overdid it, but I just couldn't help myself. It was a month before I picked up a guitar.

    Now, I still have certain things that cause discomfort. Mostly picking up weight, like cases of bottled water, and pulling. I still feel it after using my hands, but less so. Last night I ran my palm into the heel of my mandolin. Ouch. I play mandolin two plus hours a day, an hour at a time. I play as well as ever. LOL.

    It won't get better, it will get worse, and it can be permanent, so take care of it. I'm having the right hand done before it needs the invasive surgery. Buy the way, numbness has disappeared. That was instant. PM me if you wish to discuss.
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  6. #5
    Registered User jedennis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    I agree with some of the other commenters, it will not get better and the longer you wait the greater the risk of some permanent damage. I've had both wrist done (approximately 20 years ago) and I waited too long. As a result, my index finger on my right hand has reduced sensitivity to touch. I think this has been a contributor to my "journey" of trying to find the correct degree of grip on the pick.

    Make sure you do your homework in selecting a good surgeon.
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  7. #6
    Registered User Darren Bailey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Had both done and made a video at the time for anyone considering it.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulIBmQs037s
    hope this helps

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  9. #7
    Registered User dulcillini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Thanks to all ! As usual,. I receive the best advice from my Mandolin Café friends.
    Michael A. Harris
    the dulcILLINI
    Collings MF5 Mandolin
    Collings MT2 Mandola
    Taran "Springwell" Mandolin 4/16
    McSpadden Custom Mountain Dulcimer
    "Home is the place we grow up wanting to leave, and die trying to get back to." Nash

  10. #8

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Wanted to say, they gave me oxycodone for pain. I took one when I got home, and one that night to sleep. I was on Advil from then on, so that might tell you it's not too bad as long as you don't use your hand. I hate oxycodone though. YMMV. Bash your wound against something and you are going to jump. And wear sweatpants for a while. Pulling on a belt will be hard.
    Silverangel A
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  11. #9
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    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Interesting comments regarding carpal tunnel and mandolin playing. Michael: I hope your surgery goes well if you decide to go that route. Hope the people who commented all become totally healed up and pain free.

    I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel via a nerve conduction study and an EMG. The neurologist said I have CT but a hand specialist said he thought I didn't. I initially went to the doctors to discuss the possibility of pinched nerves and intermittent hand pain and trembling sometimes. (I do have some foraminal stenosis in my neck) Some neurologists say CT can cause loss of hand dexterity and clumsiness. Some say pinched nerves can also cause this as well as tremor. Anybody have any hand or finger tremor with their CT?

    Thanks.

  12. #10
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    The choice between the 2" incision procedure and the 1/4" incision doesn't make a whole lot of difference.I've seen both while I worked as an OR nurse. Both procedures are fairly simple and quick.Find a good hand specialist and go with what he or she likes best. Do it sooner than later though. Yes, you'll be out of action for a while but in the long run you'll be glad you did it. Just be thankful it isn't a rotator cuff
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  13. #11
    Registered User desaljs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Carpal tunnel surgery is as close to a "sure thing" in medicine as you can get!! I have taken care of many people with this problem (not doing the surgery, but working up the problem and referring on to a hand surgeon). As mentioned above, don't delay. If you have it, get the pressure off the nerve. If left too long, you will lose muscle mass in the hand. My daughter developed this from playing piano, had the surgery, and all is well. Go for it without hesitation!
    Jim D

  14. #12

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    My surgeon told me that repetitive motion has been pretty much disproven over basic genetics. Some people just have tighter carpel tunnels. Those that don't can pretty much do anything and be problem free.
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  15. #13

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    I presume surgery is your last resort, so, good luck.

    But its worth investigating if your condition is caused by a repetitive stress, because eliminating that factor may be sufficient to bring relief and avoid surgery. In some cases, such as mine, when I removed the condition, the symptoms went away and I avoided the surgery I saw colleagues of mine have. (We were mill shop workers using a variety of handheld power tools, typically routing by hand for hours a day. I left that part of the trade to remove the inflammatory activity.)

    Every condition is different, I am sure you are getting the best professional advice. But surgeons sell surgery, and can be motivated for reasons other than your best options.
    Play it like you mean it.

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  17. #14

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    If you don't trust your healthcare provider, you need to find another one. I belong to a large provider, Kaiser Permanente. It is in their best interests to prevent issues. I pay only a small deductible, so the cost of surgery falls predominantly to them. The insentive for them is to not perform unnecessary surgery.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
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    1913 Gibson A-1

  18. #15
    Registered User Darren Bailey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Here in the UK the treatment was free (excluding taxes). Three years after the operation I've never felt any of the symptoms again.

  19. #16

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Yes, no free lunch so to speak. You pay one way or another.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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