"Constant pain after day surgery for carpol tunnel (cts)"

About: Faversham Cottage Hospital Kent & Canterbury Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital / General surgery William Harvey Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

My operation of the 8th August 2008 relates to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) decompression of the median nerve. I have had several steroid injections over the last two years, for a symptom called trigger finger (in both thumbs). The injections worked fine, relieving pressure and enabling me to use my thumbs and hands, without severe pain. I was then advised that I required the operation on my right wrist first and then my left, for the decompression of the median nerve. The consultant convinced me that I required the operation, as I was unable to continue having the injections into the thumbs, as problems may occur in the future. I was told that the success rate for the minor operation is between 95% and 99% and I was assured that he himself would do the operation, so following his advice I agreed. Well, to go straight to the point… My consultant did not do the operation another doctor did. After the operation, following all the literature that I was given regarding cleaning and exercising of the hand, it was time for the dressing to come off. I was very happy with how the wound had healed. Then after approximately two weeks, it started causing me pain in the hand that was unbearable, pain in the forearm wrist, thumb, index, and middle fingers. The pain was immeasurable and I was unable to sleep or relax. The continued constant pain was in places that, prior to the operation, I had not had before. I was actually laying down trying to sleep, wondering how I could cut off my own arm, without bleeding to death – as the pain was so immeasurably great. It was like a constant hot electrical sharp pain, that was unbearable. This was not my arm, I felt that it did not belong to me. I then went to my GP who prescribed “Lyrica Capsules and Capsaicin Cream”, which I must say have helped considerably over the last month or so. The hospital wrote to me, moving my October appointment (which I was looking forward to) back to November without an explanation. I telephoned and wrote to the consultant directly, explaining the problems I am having. I was then seen on the 7th October 2008, thank God! I was sent for another (electromyography-EMG test) which revealed that in fact the problem has got worse and confirmed that I did indeed need another operation. However, I was informed that the success rate would now be 50% percent, I suffer constant pain and unable to use my hand for the simplest of domestic chores, like picking up a cup or jar, typing, cleaning myself after a toilet, making love to my partner etc etc etc. I am disappointed and would like the operation reversed! I would just like to inform other people not to go ahead with this operation, unless absolutely necessary and to try other treatments and or look for alternatives as this constant pain that I am now suffering has made me feel awful! Like I said previously the medication my GP has given me helps but still the pain is constant. My advice: do not agree to this course of action, as your whole life will change considerably. I shall not be having my left hand done.
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