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neck/shoulder pain with carpel tunnel ???

jeffsneckjjeffsneck Posts: 25
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Has anyone ever been told that after surgery ,that you had severe carpel tunnel, that was causing severe nerve and muscle problems in the neck/shoulder area.
I am 5 months post-op and had none of these symptoms pre surgery. I have talked to several carpel tunnel surgery patients and none had symptoms that went beyond the hands.
Any help or thoughts would be appreciated as I'm due for my 5 month post op visit next week and thought i would gather from my fellow neckies


  • I had bilaterral tunnel release procedure in 2005. My symptoms, subjective and objective, were all confined to wrists and hands. I now have cervical issues and in the process of diagnosing this have been told that carpal tunnel issues are returning. Hope this helps
  • My NS sent me for EMG nerve conduct testing to rule out carpal tunnel. I believe that is the only way to be sure.

  • There are studies that show that many carpal tunnel diagnoses are incorrect and are actually due to disc herniations in the neck. I would talk with the NS about that, also I am not sure if you have had a cervical surgical intervention or not. If so remember that any fusion puts more stress on the levels above and below the area fused, which at times causes them the herniate. Right now I experience some severe spasms in my forearms that causes my hands to double over, which is coming from the C7-T1 level. Good luck
  • Hello jeffsneck,

    I have had this very thing happen to me a few years ago. Started having the most horrible pain in my neck along with excrutiating pain in one thumb that would come and go. It felt like somebody was squeezing my thumbnail with a visegrip. Was sent to a specialist who said I probably had carpel tunnel syncrome and I scoffed at that idea. I knew I had trouble brewing with my hands (from years of typing) but this was in my NECK and I absolutely rejected the idea of carpel tunnel. Well, I agreed to EMG testing (ouch!) and it revealed severe carpel tunnel syndrome in both hands! I had CT release on both hands and, wa-la, no more pain in my neck or thumb!

    Of course, you may have something else going on that does actually come from your neck, but I'm here to tell you that CTS can do some strange things. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • When my C5/6 herniated and I in addition to the symptoms related to that area, I was also having issues at my elbow and numbing/weakening my ring and pinkie fingers. My surgeon didn't think there was anything "neck" related concerning those symptoms. I was seeing a Sports Ortho Surgeon at the same time - he said the same thing.

    3 weeks after my C5/6 fusion, I underwent transposition of the ulnar at the elbow, and release in the hand at Guyon's canal. Unfortunately, "fast forward" to today, and my C7/T1 is losing disk height fast, and I once again lost those fingers! Symptoms are now direct to the neck however.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I had an EMG test, and it showed severe CPT in right hand in whicj I had no synmptoms before surgery. My PT thinks it is maybe what they call Double crush syndrome in where scar tissue in the neck is pressing against the nerve along with some pressure from the band in the wrist. It seems to be very plausable that scar tissue could be irritating or restricting the nerve therefore causing some inflamation of the nerve in what could have been a tight carpal band. Thanks for your ideas.
  • On my EMG the doctor said I had a little carpal tunnel on my left wrist. However he didn't think much of it as the main cause of my neck pain, as I have disc problems stated in my MRI and X rays.
  • My problems started before my surgery so I can't blame that. My MRIs show the disc herniated to the right and that is where my pain is focused. A few weeks back I started to get tingling in my left hand and up my arm. Hand falls asleep if I hold the phone,etc. I mentioned it to the doctor and he said it can't be related and to see him after the surgery.

    Well it comes and goes and I am not going to even think about it right now. I do wonder what he will find next week when he opens me up. I am prepared to wake up and find out that there was more wrong than they originally thought. I feel sorry for my husband because I know he will be lost if they have to explain any of this to him.

    I find it strange that so many people with spine problem also have carpal tunnel.
  • Sometimes they refer to this problem as the "Double Crush Syndrome". It is where two locations of the same nerve are being pressed on which in turn makes both areas more painful.
    Hopefully yours is just your T1/T2 impingement.
    Good luck with your surgery and I'm sure we will see you back here for feedback post surgery.
  • gstevens74ggstevens74 Posts: 1
    edited 08/12/2014 - 6:56 AM
    Back in April of this year 2014, I had a major flare up of some kind in my left arm where it swelled up, it was numb, hot and cold, electric shock sensations from my elbow out my finger tips. So I had a nerve conduction study done and confirmed carpal tunnel. But when I saw the hand surgeon, he walked out of the room saying "Im sorry but I cannot help you." So that turd sent me to the Spine clinic next door. The surgeon there did 4 different MRI's, I told him that I had the same feelings in my right arm and hand, he decided that I had a budging C5/C6 disc which was evident on the MRI, he suggested that I undergo a ACDF (anterior cervical disc fusion) and he said that would fix my problem. Well, here I am, 10 weeks post and in a lot of pain!! Pain from my spine all the way down to my finger tips. My fingers still get ice cold, then burning hot, muscle spasms in my neck/shoulder area and stabbing pains shooting down my arm. And NOW they say I have Sever carpal tunnel and I'm EDITEDbecause I don't believe that it's just carpal tunnel and i do not see how I can feel where it starts on my spine and ends in my finger tips.

    Post edited by Sandi- the use of foul, obscene or vulgar language is NOT permitted on Spine Health.

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    This is a very old thread, for best support and information I suggest you make a new thread in introductions, you can do this by clicking on 'create forum post' on the left column.


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 08/12/2014 - 7:00 AM
    Nerve related pain commonly flares up post op for several days to a few weeks. Especially if the nerves were compressed prior to surgery. It is entirely possible that both conditions, the cervical spine issues and the carpal tunnel were both flared up at the same time , and are in combination , causing your symptoms. Nerve pain settles as the nerves recover from any compression prior to the surgery and begin healing.
    You are still in the acute phase of recovery, and things are not going to be perfect while your body heals. Time is your greatest friend to see how your body and the pain is going to resolve .

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