Confused & Frustrated with Orthopaedic Surgeon

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Confused & Frustrated with Orthopaedic Surgeon

Postby HunnyBunny71 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:27 pm

Hi All

Hope I am posting in the right area (apologies if not) and am hoping someone can offer advice following my Orthopaedic appointment yesterday.

Just to give you some of my history. I was finally diagnosed with FM by my Rheumy back in January. Prior to that, because I was having a lot of issues with my arms - pain, pins & needles, numbness etc - I was also referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, who carried out elecro conductive tests on my hands and also an MRI scan of my neck.

At my Ortho appointment back in November, I was told that I had only a very mild carpal tunnel problem which was not worth operating on - fair enough I thought. Had my MRI in December (as the problem had'nt improved and ortho suspected a trapped nerve in my neck) and it was when I saw my Rheumy in January that she advised that the MRI was clear and diagnosed me with FM.

Had my follow up appointment with Ortho yesterday and saw yet another different doctor. He had all my notes, I told him I knew the MRI was clear following the appt with the Rheumy. He offered me steroid injections(under LA) into each wrist to see if my condition improves and said that if it made a difference then they would consider surgery - bearing in mind that it clearly states in my records that I have only a very mild problem with the CT nerve and surgery was not recommended - .At this point, after digesting what he said, and nearly choaking on my words, I reiterated - just to confirm I had heard him correctly - that he wanted to stick pins in me and if successful would then consider CT surgery!! I then asked him if it was possible for him to liaise with the Rheumatologist about this, as having being diagnosed with FM, I was pretty sure that this was one of the symptoms and I obviously did'nt want to go through the pain of having the injections if it wasn't going to do anything to improve my symptoms.

Well, that suggestion went down like a lead balloon and he mumbled something or another about being an ortho surgeon, yadda yadda yadda. Needless to say, I think I would have had more luck asking him to poke his finger in his eye rather than liaise with another department!!

Anyway, sorry to go on, but my question is does anyone else have this problem with their upper limbs? Pain, pins & needles complete loss of feeling in your fingers on occasions and also problems with the cold hands? Am i correct in thinking that this could be FM related? Or do I need to eat humble pie and go back to the Ortho for the steroid injections?

Thanks for listening xxx
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Re: Confused & Frustrated with Orthopaedic Surgeon

Postby Ldyalb » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:03 am

I had this problem, although nothing was wrong with my carpal tunnel nerve to the best of my knowledge. My GP upped my amis from 10mg a night to 25mg and that got rid of a lot of the tingling and twitchy fingers. When they were upped again to 50mg to help me sleep better it largely went away. Your surgeon should be prepared to liase with the Rheumatology department, I think he's being unreasonable there - I'd certainly want a second opinion before having the injections if it were me.

I do still struggle with cold hands, I think mine may be mild raynauds syndrome. My Rheumy told me in Jan 2011 that the whole tip of my finger or toe had to change colour before they'd consider Raynauds. A few days later (typical) a whole toe tip went white. Generally I get a bluish tinge to my fingers when cold, particularly under the finger nails although the whole tip of the fingers don't turn blue. But then they go very red from the tip of my fingers to about half way down to the middle knuckle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raynaud's_phenomenon

Here's some info on it. I had a friend at school who had this, as did her Mum and their attacks that I saw were much milder than the ones in the picture. If you do get red, white or blue fingers then Raynauds could be the issue. It's quite common and seems to be prevalent in a lot of people. You can also get symptoms in other extremeties, my boyfriend has Raynauds and we both get white nipples when getting dressed in cold weather, mine are worse - I'm guessing because I'm a woman mine are further away from my main body heat than his. We also both get very cold ears which go pale and red in the cold.

My boyfriend's main problems are his feet. He was on meds a few years ago and got chillblains in the winter as he was living in a cold student house and was sat at his desk for 10 hours a day revising for his exams (partially a side effect of the meds the Dr said). Ever since that winter 4 years ago he's had Raynauds - some of his toes go completely white. He doesn't help himself by wearing only 1 thin pair of socks though. When I'm in furry boots with 300 denier thermal tights on with a 100 denier pair of tights on top plus fleecy socks on top again he's just wearing 1 pair of socks in his converse :facepalm:

I've found microwaveable heat packs great for my cold hands, my right hand often gets cold when I'm on the computer as it's exposed to my mouse, whereas my left hand sits on my thigh and keeps warm. So when I get attacks of a very cold and numb hand I use the wheat packs to warm them up again. You can also get microwaveable wheat slippers which are amazing. I lived with a girl with Raynauds at Uni and she had them. Her home with her parents didn't have any central heating so they bought the slippers to keep her feet warm. Those heat packs you can get for pockets are good too - especially in bad weather.
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Confused & Frustrated with Orthopaedic Surgeon

Postby HunnyBunny71 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:28 pm

Thanks so much for your reply Ldyalb x. Tbh, I didn't think I was asking the world when I asked the ortho to liaise with my rheumy. Am going to give the rheumy a call tomorrow for some advice on this as I really don't fancy having those injections unless absolutely necessary :-/

As for my hands, when they are cold they tend to go purple - could be a mix of red and blue I suppose - have had this problem since 1998 on and off, but it seems to be causing more of a problem now.

My GP has already upped my Amis to 50mg/night, and although they definitely help me get off to sleep, I still find myself waking with pins and needles and numbness. 1st time I had an episode of numbness it scared the life out of me as I was looking at my left hand but only had sensation in 2 fingers. It was really horrible and took a lot of shaking to get the feeling back.

I'll have a look for the hand warmers too. Hoping they can help and will look at the reynards syndrome.

Hopefully I'll get to speak to my rheumy tomorrow and might get some sense from them.

Thanks again for your reply xxx
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Re: Confused & Frustrated with Orthopaedic Surgeon

Postby denys » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:18 pm

I have similar problems both with my hands and my feet and have been tested for carpel tunnel also got told the problem was only mild, the pins and needles sometimes leaves my hands useless and the pain when the feeling comes back is horrible :( :( :( :( I've since been told its FM related with some addition from bulging discs in my neck and the little bit of CP so all in all just a combination as usual :-D :-D :-D :-D
Denys

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Re: Confused & Frustrated with Orthopaedic Surgeon

Postby Ldyalb » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:30 pm

That does sound like Raynauds. Mine are a kind of bluish purple, like inky coloured but a bit lighter. Invest in a decent pair of gloves. I have some of the Accessorize 'hat' ones. They're basically fingerless gloves with a hat which can be pulled over the fingers to turn them into mittens. I use these when shopping so I can access my bag, purse etc without having to fully remove my gloves and expose my whole hand to the cold. When out and about on a wintery walk for example I use a thick fleecy pair. My boyfriend has an Aunt and Uncle who live in the Orkney Islands and they sent me a thick pair of gloves for Christmas the year before last. They're fab. I also have family in Oslo and get some decent wintery bits from them. I find Scandinavian brands are generally pretty good as they're used to dealing with some really harsh winters. I went to Oslo in August and needed a thick winter coat with gloves. I'm too wimpy to go there in Winter :oops: :-D
'Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy' - Anne Frank

TMJ, RLS, HMS, Fibro, Dyspraxia - ASD + Dyscalculia overlap, Eczema + Rosacea + suspected Psoriatic Arthritis.

Being an Adult is nothing like it said in the brochure...!
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Confused & Frustrated with Orthopaedic Surgeon

Postby HunnyBunny71 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:43 pm

Thanks both. Am going to phone my rheumy tomorrow to ask her opinion on the steroid injections.

When I had this problem with my arms & hands back in the late 90's, I had every test under the sun done and they couldn't find out what the problem was back then. RSI was suspected but never proven.

I suspect that it was FM back then and I was having a really bad 'flare', but I've always had issues since.

Will update once I've spoken to the hospital tomorrow. Wish me luck xxx
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