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Carpal tunnel surgery?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by glutah, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. glutah


    Nov 5, 2012
    Salt Lake City
    Anybody had it? I was not sure which forum to put this in, hope this works. I gotta have it, just wondering what to expect (recovery etc). I am a working musician and this is beyond scary...
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I hear you there so am I and I'm sure people who have had it done will join in. I think today the surgery is much better than in years past.
  3. Musicman1901

    Musicman1901 Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Jeez man I feel for you and I wish you the best of luck. That's scary. When i was 17 I was diagnosed with severe tendonitis in my fretting arm and I was terrified to lose my abilities so i cut back on my playing. It seems fine now but I dont play nearly as often as I use to in fear of having a problem. Best of luck to you man. I hope everything works out okay for you.
  4. Danno1985


    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    I haven't had the surgery, as I think I've kept my symptoms at bay for now by changing some work and playing habits, but the sous-chef at my day job (another field where this is common) recently had the surgery on both wrists. He's about my age (27), and I think it took him about 4 weeks to be more-or-less fully functional again. Best of luck to you man! If your case is severe and you have the means to have the surgery now, it will be worth the recovery time to have it done and not to put it off, I think.
  5. Musicman1901

    Musicman1901 Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Now your making me nervous. I'm an executive chef on top of playing bass all the time. I feel like it's a matter of time before I have a problem. I agree though. You should get it done now and get it out of the way if you have the means. Don't put it off, as it will only hurt you in the long run.
  6. Blackcatbones


    Jan 6, 2013
    Funny you should ask this... I just had this surgery on both hands and need it redone on one. I was actually reading up on it a few hours ago. The basic recovery is quite quick. Then it takes about a year to get full stength back. They say guitar is good therapy for your hands after the surgery... Just start slow, short practices light strings and so on. It looks like in most cases so long as the surgery goes well people can play again as good as or better than before. I read about one or two cases that werent so lucky.
    Many people including myself say that if they had taken the time to learn about other options they would not have got the surgery. It looks like there are more modern less invasive ways to treat this. You may want to look at your options first. My doctor said I could get the older style of surgery where they open the hand and get it done right away or I could wait several months and get the new pin hole type surgery. He recommended the older style... I regret that decision. The hands are better than they were but they feel traumatised. I cant explain it... They just dont feel right anymore. But they do work.
  7. Danno1985


    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    That's outstanding. It always makes me happy to hear about other people in our line of work who are so passionate about music that spending a huge chunk of their free time playing isn't even an option for them. I don't know how old you are man, but my guess is that if you've made it far enough to be an exec. chef, you have good fundamentals. I know a lot of the work-related wrist issues I've dealt with came from doing things stupidly in the heat of the moment because I wasn't thinking straight. And even going back to high school, when I really got obsessed with playing and first started waking up with burning wrists... staying up til 3AM every school night practicing scales while laying on the floor or something... ugh. Totally avoidable in retrospect. And I've seen studies that show there's a genetic correlation as well, which would make sense for me since my Mom is a professional organist and has also dealt with CTS since her late teens. So if none of those things apply, I wouldn't worry too much. If you have mild symptoms, get some good comfortable braces you can sleep in. That helped me a lot.
  8. I had both carpal and ulna tunnel surgery on my left hand and elbow in 1999. Went through physical therapy and was back to work in a month doing a a very physical job (land surveying) which includes using machetes, sledge hammers, posthole diggers, shovels and lots of heavy lifting without any major problems. You should be just fine.
  9. oleskool


    Sep 27, 2011
    Detroit, Mi.
    I have had the surgery. My perspective is from the long term. It has been more than 8yrs. since I went through this. Repetitive use use of air powered tools(auto industry) was the cause. I waited until it got so bad I had no choice. Wore the braces, did the hand exercises, everything before getting it done. Don't believe the it will be ok in a month bull. I had a cast on for 2 months. After that I had to re-learn to use that hand. After the physical therapy most of the use is back ( about 3months time.) The small dexterous things take about a year to come back fully. Your hand will never be 100% again. It shows back up from time to time for me. Not as bad though. I'm retired now so i'm not stressing it. If i was still working I would need the second surgery, that i have never heard of anyone who really needed the first surgery , not go through.
  10. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN
    I have had CTS surgery on both hands (a couple years apart) and neither was a big deal. Obviously everyone's recovery will be different and I had it done in a place that specializes in surgeries of that sort, so all went well with me. I only really have one piece of advice though. Afterward, be sure to do the required excersises...diligently! Don't push it; that could make for a longer recovery, but do what is required of you.
  11. milo


    Jul 22, 2004
    I have both hands operated when I was 23(now I am 36),right once and left twice.In left hand damage to nerves and other tissiue was big so I quit playing bass in band .I am playing bass at home just for fun.I have still needles and ants buzzing in my left hand between and after playing.I hope you havent damage your nerves a lot

    What LongHairFreak said is very much the truth
  12. Dredmahawkus


    Nov 4, 2012
    I worked in a casino as a dealer....and a ton of dealers get it. Most come out of it saying its the best thing they have ever done....but there are a few who come back from it and say its worse then before. My old man had it on both wrists....he wanted to do both at the same time! He said its better then it was.
  13. gflowers

    gflowers Sadowsky Nut Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I've been playing bass for 40 years and had the CTS release surgery on my fretting hand in 2000. It was a very simple procedure (didn't even have to get out of my street clothes), took about 30 minutes. Doc told me 4 to 6 weeks recovery. I did the hand exercises religiously and was back gigging in 4 weeks. and I've never looked back. I still have a bit in my right hand but it's manageable. Like you've heard, I'm sure everyone's situation and recovery time will be different but it saved my career and I'm glad I had it done. I did have it done by a doctor that specialized in repetitive motion injuries so I would recommend finding a specialist. Good luck.
  14. milo


    Jul 22, 2004
    I worked as a baker ,so i got CTS because heavy bakery work not playing bass guitar.I waited more than year with wrist and hand problem before I went to doctor to measure electric pulse through wrist.The results were shocking ,at 23 my left wrist was like 60 year worker and left like 50 year worker.When they opened hands ,right was just narrowed, in left hand there were damaged nerves and tissue.So the left hand got second operation because I could not open palm to the maximum.Doctor said that wrist and palm between thumb and other fingers has so much damaged tissue, muscles that i have anatomic disorder in palm.
  15. nuts-n-bolts

    nuts-n-bolts Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    Nashville, TN
    I have not had the surgery, but a couple years ago the man I was studying under in college did. Like others have already said, take it slow. Use lighter strings and ease yourself back into it. I remember there was a couple months where he barely played, when he did start playing it was for short periods of time and very simplistic. It took him several months, but he did fully recover and is still amazing.

    Best of luck with it brother.
  16. bill reed

    bill reed

    Apr 2, 2012
    I had it in both hands and it got so bad at times i could not even hold a knife and fork to eat.
    had the left hand done in hospital and it was all over in an hour. 8 weeks later my hand was great. strange thing the pain and nunbness in my right hand also went.
    i sometimes get some numbness in the fingers of my right hand but i can live with that as it never like it was before.
    you cant even see the scare in my left hand.
    i would say get it done judging how it went for me.
  17. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Both hands over 10 years ago. Recovery was like some above, much quicker than anticipated. I waited till I couldn't stand it anymore, but then rejoiced at the excellent results. Here's the big key - GET IT DONE NY A NEURO SURGEON -not an orthopedic one. Major difference in approach and results. Believe me, I researched it till you couldn't research it any more, including speaking with many doctors. Another tip, do as many things before hand -trim nails etc. and practice doing things left handed, if you're a righty or vice versa. Have easy to put on and take off shirts etc. :cool:
  18. Llaslo


    Mar 8, 2012
    I had Carpal Tunnel Surgery on my right hand 12 years ago. They did put me under to do the surgery, but I was fully recovered in about 4 weeks. I've not had a single problem since. I got carpal tunnel because I am a software developer and typing all day did it to me. They told me it would come back and that the surgery was a temporary solution, but it hasn't yet.
  19. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    My dad had his right hand done a few years ago, he fully recovered without any issues. He's going again for his left hand in a week.
  20. I had both hands done in 2005 or 6, fretting hand first--Could play the very next day. Two weeks later the right hand, bandage made it a little more difficult. Had carpal tunnel syn since the mid-80s, wished I'd have had it done then!

    The key is massaging the carpal area religiously, or there is threat of recurrence. I used Palmers Cocoa Butter. Keep the massage going for at least two months, 5-10 minutes twice a day.

    I was told there are two different proceedures, one involves sticking a "tube" of some kind in and cutting the ligament, the other (the one I had) is the invasive 1-inch incision and cut with a scalpal. My surgeon actually came up with the idea to not only cut the ligament but to remove about a quarter inch of it--Better odds of it not growing back.

    I've had no problems since...Good luck!