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  #1  
Old 05-27-2018, 11:12 AM
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Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

As background, back in the 1980’s I started to have recurring and somewhat chronic hand numbness, initially caused by long distance cycling. It was mainly a problem at night, where my hands would “fall asleep” and wake me up with a throbbing numbness that was alleviated by straightening out my arm. I self-diagnosed it as cubital tunnel syndrome - impingement of the nerve in the elbow. I’ve lived with it for decades, writing it off as a result of the stress on my elbows from a half-century of bicycle and motorcycle riding, combined with barbell curls and tool usage putting additional stress on them.

But about 6 months ago I started to have slight numbness all the time in my right index and middle fingers. But even a tiny bit of numbness is an issue - I noticed I was having a hard time buttoning my left sleeve and had to ask Karen for help. It’s hard to pick up a coin or washer from a flat surface. I’m dropping things a bit more often. That sort of thing. But I could live with it if I knew it wasn’t going to get any worse.

But it came to a head, so to speak, when I mentioned it to a flight student who is a retired orthopedist. He looked at my right hand and immediately noticed atrophy of my right thumb muscle, combined with limited range of motion. That concerned him and he referred me to a hand and arm specialist. That specialist recommended a nerve conduction study. That study showed severe carpal tunnel and moderate to severe cubital tunnel impingement of nerve impulses. Left arm had issues as well, but is asymptomatic to date.

Those results indicated surgical intervention, and it made sense to do wrist and elbow at the same time. We’re hoping that reverses the atrophy, but it may just stop it from progressing further. I think it’s a few weeks in a sling, then up to 3 months of physical therapy for a full recovery. Motorcycling is likely out for most of that time. Drat.

I’m not complaining - orthopedic problems, while annoying, are a walk in the park compared with other issues many people my age start to experience. Almost 70 years of a pretty active lifestyle has to have taken a toll.

Anyway, I’ll report updates post-surgery in case any others have dealt with similar issues.

Wish me luck!
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:42 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.


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Old 05-27-2018, 12:03 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Suerte
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:12 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Best of luck with the surgery and the recovery
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:18 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Best of luck Eddie and I hope for a complete recovery.
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:23 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Best wishes. Heal quickly!
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:45 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Good luck , Eddie. And may you heal quickly!
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:59 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Had it done during the winter Eddie. You'll be glad you got it done once all is done!


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Old 05-27-2018, 03:10 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpel
Had it done during the winter Eddie. You'll be glad you got it done once all is done!



I actually asked the doctor if maybe we could wait until November, so I could get in a full riding season. He said with the atrophy going on, he wouldn't wait.

Its not like I don't plan a LOT more riding seasons going forward!
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:12 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

You're right to not wait on somethingb like that. Good luck, Eddie.i
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:37 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Best of luck, buddy... Glad it's something that can be repaired...
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:43 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Wish you all the best Eddie.
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:43 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Good luck Eddie....
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:59 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Best of luck, Eddie.

Theresa had symptoms like yours for the last few years. It was bad enough that, for the last year, she had to wear braces on both wrists to be able to sleep. It also impacted her riding endurance. She had bi-radial carpal tunnel surgery last winter; was not able to use either hand at all for a couple of weeks and was in bandages for a month. (Guess who got really good at washing dishes?!) The good news is that the surgery worked out really well. The numbness is gone, her riding endurance is great and she's able to take up playing the ukulele! Aside from some nasty scars on her wrists, she's good as gold.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:00 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

'Luck' Look forward to stories of positive results
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:17 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

I had allot of the same symptoms. Could not sleep, pins and needle feeling in my hands. Made it hard to drive or ride a motorcycle. I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Chickened out one time, but a few years later had carpal tunnel surgery done on both hands. Went for a ride with the stitches still in Fixed!!!! Only recovery time I had was waiting for the two openings to heal. You will wonder why you didn't do it earlier.
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  #17  
Old 05-27-2018, 09:00 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Best of luck with the surgery Eddie
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:00 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Good luck Eddie I hope your recovery time is short and the results are fantastic.
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Old 05-27-2018, 10:45 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Hope it goes well Eddie, speedy recovery!
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  #20  
Old 05-28-2018, 06:16 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Eddie,

I had the same problem crop up after I bought a new racquetball racket including the numbness in my fingers. I retired the racket, rested my arm for a month or so then went back to the sport using a lighter and more advanced racket.

Regarding your post operation recovery, in March of '12 I had to have my right ACL replaced after a nasty ski accident. I didn't want to miss riding season or golf season for that matter but the PT guys were't too optimistic of me doing either until late fall. Anyway, the PT guys got me motivated and on the mend and the next thing I know I'm on the RT six weeks after the surgery doing just fine as you will be too! Just remember to do everything they tell you to do! Best wishes for a smooth procedure and recovery!!
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:50 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Hope your surgery goes well and you heal quickly Eddie.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:46 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Good luck Eddie
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  #23  
Old 05-30-2018, 08:02 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Trust all will go well and that you heal quickly.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:27 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Hey Ed, good luck today!
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:05 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

I survived! Details to follow...
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:06 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by FastEddieb
I survived! Details to follow...
Pics? naw really get well soon!
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:07 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

glad your ok Eddie....
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:38 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Glad it all went according to Hoyle. Heal fast!
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:05 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Back to pulling wheelies
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:00 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

This was an interesting read, Eddie. Hearing about the challenges, then successes of other riders on this forum is what helps make this place a supportive home. Hopefully, you’ll inspire others to take positive action to ward off more pain and degeneration of similar body parts. Glad to hear you’re now on the mend. Looking forward to the details.

As has been said, photos are not necessary (but fascinating, nonetheless )
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:59 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Promised update...

Had to get up at 3:45 AM to shower and get out of the house by 4:30 for a 7 AM arrival time in Atlanta. Sat in the waiting room for an hour anyway.

IV in the wrist was no problem. Mild sedative so I don’t recall the injections in my neck and underarm to “block” the nerves. I was offered either 7 hours or 15 hours of numbness, and went with 15. Took maybe 30 minutes to lose all the feeling and mobility in my right arm. It was explained they were doing carpal and cubital “releases”, with a “bisection” of two nerves in the elbow to gain access to the cubital tunnel. Or something like that.

Wheeled into the operating suite and scooted onto the table. This is where it got weird. I had my arms crossed on my chest, with still a tiny bit of tingling on the back of my right hand. I closed my eyes for a moment, then looked right to where an attendant was holding an arm! It was the weirdest feeling, thinking my arm was one place but seeing it in another. I remember learning about proprioceptors, that enable us to make a mental model of where our body is in space. When those get suppressed, it’s really weird - I can sympathize with people with “phantom limbs” and the like.

Anyway, completely out for the surgery. Doctor stopped by afterwards to say the nerves looked healthy - he may have used the word “effused” or “perfusion”. Karen remembers he said they looked pink, which was good. He said at least it should stop the progression of the atrophy and numbness, with a possibility of reversing it. The trip home was uneventful. I couldn’t move my fingers until evening, and took one Percocet as instructed right then. Today no need for any painkillers so far.

Further good news is that I misunderstood about the sling - it only had to stay on until I regained feeling in my arm, so I’m about to remove it. Dressings and wrap stay in place for 2 weeks when I have a followup. Just no lifting with that arm for a while.

So far, so good!
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:07 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Quote:
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So far, so good!
Hope your recovery goes well and your problems are behind you.
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:38 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Glad that it all went according to plan.




Heal well mon ami and do the physio...

Cheers bud
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:59 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by FastEddieb
Just no lifting with that arm for a while.

So far, so good!
Good to hear you’ll survive, Eddie.
I’ve suppressed the smartass remarks & will leave them to JJ.
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Old 05-31-2018, 02:19 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Glad to hear it went well. You'll be Fast Eddie again in no time.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:40 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Soft cast comes off tomorrow!



Last two weeks have been no more than a minor annoyance. I think there’s been a small reduction in the finger numbness. I’ve had some dull cramping at the base of my thumb, but that may be a good thing as the nerves “wake up”.

Curious what’s under all that wrapping.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:16 PM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

Things went well today. Soft cast removed and stitches removed from hand and elbow. I was surprised at the location of the scar for the carpal tunnel release - I had imagined it more on the wrist.

Photos as links, for those who might be interested, since they're a tad gross:

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/883/4...c647067987.jpg

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1746/...b811d4acfc.jpg

For those brave enough to look, you can see the atrophy at the base of my thumb that pushed me to finally get this done.

I got a custom removable splint and instructions from the physical therapist for certain exercises several times every day. For another two weeks I'm still not to bend the elbow more than 90º or less than about 30º. And still no heavy lifting.

Annoying, but this too shall pass...
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:44 AM
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Re: Minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday

That scar on the inside of your hand will give fits to the palmreaders!


After a while, the physio's a bitch but you gotta keep at it.


Good luck with the healing process.
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Ride West 2009 http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=24292
Dad & daughter Ride 2011 http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=35470
André Slabbinck 1957-2014 http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=50135
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