Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Have I Ruined My Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

Monday, 14 Jun 2010 04:04 PM

Question: I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand on June 1, and had been doing fine until I used the weed eater for about 45 minutes. Since then, the pinky and the ring finger all the way down up to my wrist have been tingling and numb. Have I messed up what the doctor fixed?
Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
Relax. You have not undone your surgery. You know the weed eater was not on your prescription for permitted activity. Let your surgeon know of your dilemma since the numbness to your fourth and fifth digits has come from irritation to your ulnar nerve (as opposed to the median nerve that runs in the carpal tunnel that you had surgically released). This will probably get better without intervention.
Have your doctor check you to confirm this, and be sure no focus of irritation is present at your elbow, where the ulnar nerve is very close to the surface and easily injured.

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