Do You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

I went to see an orthopedic surgeon for pain in the wrist that's been there since Friday, with my hand tingling all over. I thought I had a sprain or something like that.
He thinks I have carpal tunnel related to diabetes. My mother, who is not diabetic, developed carpal tunnel in her 30s and is still in pain 25 years later, so I'm really hoping the doctor is wrong.

Anyways, I looked up type 1 diabetes and carpal tunnel and found this:
Which suggests that type 1 diabetes is a huge risk factor.
But I've been diagnosed for not quite six years, and I'm only 23. I have good control, although not great. Maybe a combination of genetic risk plus type 1 diabetes?

The study I looked at didn't have enough people, IMHO. Do you know of any other studies about carpal tunnel and type 1 diabetes?

I have CTS. I believe it is related to my diabetes. I think that the high blood sugars cause a thickening of tendons which compresses the tunnel and then the general inflammation and neuropathy of the nerves delivers the final double whammy.

Both T1 and T2 is a huge risk factor for CTS. My CTS actually emerged before my diagnosis. Eventually I had to have surgery on my right hand and despite that I still have what seems to be some permanent loss of feeling. I had certain points where trauma related to bending my wrists caused particularly bad inflammation and swelling. It may help to ice your wrists.

I never looked specifically for studies of CTS and T1, but there is a ton of work associating CTS with diabetes in general.

I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in 1989, long before my D dx. After struggling with pain, meds and arm splints I had surgery in both hands I had surgery and haven't had a problem with it since.

I have had carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists and have had successful surgeries on both wrists. It was one of the easiest surgeries I have had and the healing time was fast.
Carpal tunnel syndrome while it can be genetic or diabetic related, is also a repetitive motion problem so if you work where you do the same motion over and over with your hands and wrists you are more prone to CTS regardless of whether you are diabetic or not.

I had carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists about 5 years ago and have had no problems with the wrists or any numbness/tingling since then.

Diabetes also predisposes one to a variety of nerve and tendon problems. I've also had 4 trigger finger surgeries and am also dealing with Dupuytren's syndrome, which is affecting two other fingers (and I've had two surgeries already for the Dupytren's). But despite all that, the carpal tunnel problems haven't come back since those surgeries.


I've had pain in my hands, wrists on occasion and other joints for many years but that is RA. I do not have CTS yet although I am at risk. I have Type 1 Diabetes plus both of my Parents(non-Diabetics) had CTS and one of my Type 1 Brothers had it also.

Hi Jonah - I;ve had db for 38 years and cts about the same amount of time. But I was also a knitter, jewelry designer, and stained glass artist It came on very gradually and was helped by me wearing a brace at night.
About ten years ago it disappeared. I was knitting 3 hours a day - an hour to and fro work on the bus, and and hour in the evening. Noo symptoms whatsoever.
When I had my 4 month hospital stay (2 years ago this August), part of it was spent in rehab where I had to push myself in a rickety old wheelchair. Since it was rehab, the motto was "do it yourself". I started getting symptoms immediately. Then I started using a walker, which really stressed my wrists. Once I was home and walking unaided, the pain and numbness in my non dominant hand went away. Completely. But I still have it in my right hand.
I went to physical therapy and they gave me "tendon gliding" exercises which caused further irritation. The OT said she had maybe given me too many reps to do.
I am at my wit's end and considering surgery. But that's the arm where my dialysis vein graft is and the circulation is sort of funky and I don't think they want to mess with it.
I have spent a small fortune on snake oil cures from the web, plus acupuncture and massage.
Just from a layperson's standpoint, I would say that you have not had db long enough to cause the "crispy tendon syndrome". But, each person is different.
I wish you well.


One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post: When I first started having the problems with the numbness and tingling, my rheumatologist had splints made for my hands (long splints that kept the hand in a good position) and I wore them at night, every night, for several months. It did help the CTS, and I ended up not needing the surgery until several years later. Since you've just started having the problem, you might want to look into splints.


I am wearing a split night and day since Tuesday. Without the splint, I keep accidentally moving the wrist, or bumping something that moves it, and that's agonizing.

The biggest problem with it is that the hole for my thumb is a little small, I think- it is leaving a mark on my thumb.

I had both my hands operated on for CTS about 5 years ago.
It was particularly bad in my right hand. I wasn't able to sleep very well and simple tasks like holding a telephone were becoming all but impossible, and very painful.

The splints did absolutely nothing for me.

Initially the procedure completely put an end to it, but recently the familiar tinglings have returned, suggesting that it too is returning.

I was warned by my surgeon that this is possible, and he remarked that one patient he had, when being operated on a second time looked as though the first surgery had never been done at all. That was how completely the scar tissue had reformed.

If I were the ideal patient able to follow the doctors directions to the letter, I wouldn't have continued such a strenuous job, etc. But I do need to earn a living, and it's what I blame it on. I will have to live with it for a lot longer this time, and thankfully it's nowhere near as bad as it once was.

One piece of advice I have. I had my right hand done with a regular open style of surgery, and the left Laparoscopic.(keyhole surgery).
The Laparoscopic healed over twice as fast and the scar is impossible to see. If the option is available I would go this way again.

I had the laparoscopic surgery as well, the scar is not really visible. My doctor told me that the operation cuts the tendon binding the wrist tunnel tight and that the tendon then heals over, albeit at a larger radius. My doctor had me back typing at work within a week and basically back to my life, he didn't suggest that my repetitive use was the cause. He did say that the condition might recur and that the operation could be done one more time if needed.

It was said in a limiting tone of only once more?

I wonder why that would be?

Oh, also...Just reading around on the topic now it's in my head, and I notice some people claiming they experienced a 'trigger finger' issue after the surgery and had never had it before?

I too have experienced this on my left hand middle finger while stretching. I literally have to manually reset (straighten) my finger and then it's gone again.

Anyone else?

I experienced trigger finger issues before CTS and had 5 or 6 surgeries to fix it. I think that surgery was more difficult than the CTS surgery, but it was also a different hand surgeon, so technique may have played in to it as well. I had it in all my fingers but not in my thumb.

interesting, i got trigger thumbs when i was around 30, had 1 surgery & go as easy on my hands as possible when those tendons get sore. i have cts but never needed surgery, wearing an elastic bandage on my mouse hand seems to do the trick for that. one thing i wanted to ask, i'm sure this is a stupid question, but, the mentions of 'numbness' & 'tingling' sound awfully like neuropathy, please correct me if that's an incorrect observation? best to all.

Well before diagnosis, I'd presumed my pains to be exactly that (neuropathy), but they manifest in very specific and different ways.

For instance, CTS will have one half or the other of your hand/fingers go numb, not the whole thing. It can also be triggered by applying pressure to specific parts of the forearm. I was told that it's also possible to have not only the carpal tunnel cause this fun, but other areas in your arm too, all the way up to the shoulder :D
This means that even though the half and half tingling/numbness are a symptom, you can also have full hand inflamation and numbness and still have it be in part CTS.

You can also shake the numbness away to a degree.
Symptoms build and progress until inflammation sets in, and furthers the whole strangulation issues of the tendon. It just gets worse and worse until you are very unhappy.
I can remember being a stay at home dad at the time and being almost unable to hold up my youngest sons feeding bottle. I had to continuously switch hands. I couldn't sleep with my hands behind my head, etc. While the kink in my hand seemed to trigger it, the only way I was able to sleep was to form my hands into a kind of cup shape over my stomach. The buzzing would die down this way but I'd be woken all night by completely numb halves of both hands (for me it was my pinky and third finger half).
I couldn't sit still and hold a video game controller. A buzzing sensation would build and build until deafening (in a sensation way) and I would have to stop and shake out my hands.

I have to admit to feeling somewhat skeptical of how much it would help, but the surgery removed it completely and instantly. Put to sleep in agony and woke up with stitches and no pain whatsoever (other than the insicion).

CTS is a type of neuropathy.

CTS is typically in one side of the hand, but the doctor is actually suggesting I have tarsal and carpal tunnel together which would be why it's my whole hand.

I'm not entirely convinced I have it.

Have you had an electrical conduction test?

In so far as other medical problems are so vague and hard to diagnose, this is a pretty secure way of verifying.

thank you jonah, i didn't know that. i've had varying areas of neuropathy since i was around 8 or 9, i was dx'd a couple of months before i turned 3. my legs were really bad in my 30's but i just dealt with it & they got better. a couple of years ago, my hands(full hands, both)got extremely painful & feel swollen, i take neurontin & alpha lipoic acid which keeps it manageable.