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Carpal ( and Cubital) Tunnel Surgery

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  • Carpal ( and Cubital) Tunnel Surgery

    Hello all

    Yep. It's gotten to that point. Going to need the Carpal and probably Cubital Tunnel Surgery soon. Almost had it for next Monday but I cancelled pending some info from my doctor. I'll also need to take out a loan to help pay for it.

    Anyway, the carpal tunnel surgery is now done endoscopically, i.e. they shove a wire into your wrist, just under the palm. It runs upwards along the other wires in your arm, to just under the palm where a hook comes out and cuts the offending ligament. Apparently this cuts recovery time to a few weeks rather than months.

    Cubital (such a friendly word) TS is the elbow version of carpal TS. Here the doctor moves the actual nerve to a less offending area, usually under the skin in the forearm. This takes a little longer to recover, though I am uncertain of the time...one of the things I have to talk to the doctor about (He's a hard man to get to).

    Anyway, thought I'd share, and ask if anyone had any opinions or experiences on the matter. I've searched online on this subject and have read good stories and horror stories.

    Got to go. Wrists are burning. I'll keep updates.

    DJourg

  • #2
    Question 1 : By posting this here, do we assume that playning E's was the sole or major cause of your injuries?

    Question 2 : If no to question 1, stop, close the test, put your pencils down and hands on top of desk.

    Question 3 : If yes to question 1 can you get data to avoid/prevent your condition from occurring to someone esle?

    Multiple Question 4 : Your age, general physique, any vices (i.e. tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc. - no, women don't count)?


    -------------------
    -~


    [This message has been edited by Marc. (edited June 05, 2001).]

    Comment


    • #3
      [QUOTE]Originally posted by DJourg:
      [B]Hello all

      Yep. It's gotten to that point. Going to need the Carpal and probably Cubital Tunnel Surgery soon. Almost had it for next Monday but I cancelled pending some info from my doctor

      Hi DJourg,
      I've had wrist problems for years. I now wear hand/wrist braces (splints)at night when I sleep. I've seen several doctors and the last one, a wrist specialist, said long term the only thing that will help me is behavior modification. He was right! Since then I've modified my grip (more thumbs up and relaxed) and have stopped whenever I felt pain. My fingers also bothered me, so playing piano was painful. Now with the wrist splints, behavior modification, relaxing and slightly changing my grip, I'm playing better than ever. I just am VERY careful. I also warm up before I play.

      We are going to see more and more of these problems with the drum corp method of playing. Too tight, wrist flat and the Kevlar heads are bad for your hands. Most kids don't see the damage intil they get older. Music should be for a lifetime not just when you're young.

      Good luck - I'd be careful with surgery until you've tried everything else.

      Comment


      • #4
        I hate to bring up the drum corps thing again, but simply put, kevlar heads do not cause damage to you hands. Now, bad technique on kevlar heads is where the damage comes from. Being that the kevlar heads are less forgiving, even the minor technique problems can cause damage, but that is a result of bad technique and not the kevlar. I marched with the Santa Clara Vanguard for six years and never had any wrist problems. Sorry for the rant but I feel very strongly about this.

        Zak

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by zmorton:
          I hate to bring up the drum corps thing again, but simply put, kevlar heads do not cause damage to you hands. Now, bad technique on kevlar heads is where the damage comes from. Being that the kevlar heads are less forgiving, even the minor technique problems can cause damage, but that is a result of bad technique and not the kevlar. I marched with the Santa Clara Vanguard for six years and never had any wrist problems. Sorry for the rant but I feel very strongly about this.

          Zak

          Please define "bad technique"? Any drumming authority on technique(Joe Morello, George Lawrence Stone, Fred Gruber, Jim Chapin) will tell you loose and relaxed is the proper way to play. Now add in the drum corp flat handed, tight style, big sticks and the unforgiving surface and you've got a recipe for serious problems. This is what is happening to thousands of players. My Dr. told me that THE HUMAN HAND WAS NOT DESIGNED TO TAKE THAT KIND OF ABUSE. Maybe you're lucky or still young, my problems didn't start until I was in my mid 30's, but over time MANY people develop problems.

          This is not only my opinion it's a fact! Last year PAS - Percussive Arts Society - sponsored a seminar on the injuries related to the corp style including the problems with the heads. Jeff Moore was there among others. I was also involved with drum corps, etc. I have nothing against it.

          In closing, 2 weeks ago I attended a clinic by JR Robinson (the most recorded drummer ever). He surprised my by talking about this topic and carpal syndrome. He stressed more thumb up with fingers, looser and relaxed or you WILL develop carpol tunnel syndrome.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by zmorton:
            I marched with the Santa Clara Vanguard for six years and never had any wrist problems.
            I had a martial arts teacher once who said that he did full neck rolls all his life and has never had any neck problems, so even though the doctors advised against it he still made his students do it. That was the last time I ever went back to that twat's class.

            Zak, don't get me wrong, I'm not calling you a twat but if you haven't had an injury it doesn't mean that other people might not get one. You've been lucky or you have strong wrists. Drum Corps drumming is a high stress exercise, I agree with you that good technique helps but the human body is far from perfect. How many sportspeople do you know who have never had an injury?

            DJourg, I feel for you. I hope everything goes well.

            Everyone, careful with the wrists, whatever style you play. I stretch, warm up, cool down and things are much better than they were.

            Alex.

            Comment


            • #7
              Word of caution on carpal and cubital tunnel.
              This is something that I do know about.
              Everyone and their sister is told they have
              carpal tunnel.
              Maybe you do.
              Maybe you don't.
              I have no way of knowing.
              Make sure your tested with nerve conduction
              velocity studies by someone qualified to
              perform the study and also by someone who
              does not have a vested interest or who will
              profit by the surgury itself.
              Too many people get operated on for carpal
              tunnel and cubital tunnel that they don't
              have. Hand surgeons, orthopedic surgeons,
              and general surgeons are more than happy
              to operate on you based on clinical
              symptoms alone. The proof, however, is in
              the pudding. With nerve conduction testing
              you bacically definitively have it or you
              don't. It's a black and white issue. The
              surgeons will tell you different though
              it's just not so.
              Bad outcomes from surgery for these syndromes
              usually occur in cases where people are
              operated on for the wrong condition. Just
              make sure this is not the case with you.
              It could be the beginning of an
              unbelievable nightmare for you, especially
              if it effects your drumming.
              Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                "Please define "bad technique"? Any drumming authority on technique(Joe Morello, George Lawrence Stone, Fred Gruber, Jim Chapin) will tell you loose and relaxed is the proper way to play."

                That sounds like correct technique to me.

                "Now add in the drum corp flat handed, tight style, big sticks the unforgiving surface and you've got a recipe for serious problems."

                No this is bad technique. BUT, since when was tight playing and flat handed deemed as "drum corps playing"?!?!? If you play like this on any surface in any style you'll develope problems. In 1998 and 1999 the Vanguard snare line (which I was a member of both) used a very relaxed rebound oriented style and with tilted snares. Ever seen Dave Weckl's new video on Freddy Gruber's style? His style and Vanguard 98 & 99 couldn't be more similar. Very VERY relaxed and open. And for simply sake of argument we won drums in 1998 with this style.

                I will still stand by my statement that bad technique will lead to problems. Not "drum corps style" or "kevlar heads". Now of course fatigue will happen in any physical activity. Hey, no pain no gain.

                I guess the reason I get insulted by people sterotyping the drum corps thing and that it's technique is bad, is that it directly attacks my foundation as a player. Well I know for fact that a good drum corps training is quite valuable. I got a scholarship to Berklee with only a few months on my drum set but with the six years of drum corps made the transition very easy.

                I don't know.....Take this for what you will.

                Seriously though, thanks for the dicussion.

                Zak

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by zmorton:
                  "Please define "bad technique"? Any drumming authority on technique(Joe Morello, George Lawrence Stone, Fred Gruber, Jim Chapin) will tell you loose and relaxed is the proper way to play."

                  That sounds like correct technique to me.

                  "Now add in the drum corp flat handed, tight style, big sticks the unforgiving surface and you've got a recipe for serious problems."

                  No this is bad technique. BUT, since when was tight playing and flat handed deemed as "drum corps playing"?!?!? If you play like this on any surface in any style you'll develope problems. In 1998 and 1999 the Vanguard snare line (which I was a member of both) used a very relaxed rebound oriented style and with tilted snares. Ever seen Dave Weckl's new video on Freddy Gruber's style? His style and Vanguard 98 & 99 couldn't be more similar. Very VERY relaxed and open. And for simply sake of argument we won drums in 1998 with this style.

                  I will still stand by my statement that bad technique will lead to problems. Not "drum corps style" or "kevlar heads". Now of course fatigue will happen in any physical activity. Hey, no pain no gain.

                  I guess the reason I get insulted by people sterotyping the drum corps thing and that it's technique is bad, is that it directly attacks my foundation as a player. Well I know for fact that a good drum corps training is quite valuable. I got a scholarship to Berklee with only a few months on my drum set but with the six years of drum corps made the transition very easy.

                  I don't know.....Take this for what you will.

                  Seriously though, thanks for the dicussion.

                  Zak

                  Sorry mate, but the quote "No pain, no gain" is ridiculous. If it hurts, you're doing something wrong.
                  Just because YOU don't have problems RIGHT NOW doesn't mean you never will have problems. You're using kevlar heads, no matter what kind of technique you use, you WILL develop problems. This has nothing to do with technique, it has to do with impact shock. All modern day drum techniques were developed for loose calf skin heads, not something that feels like a kitchen counter top. Playing on kevlar you're subjecting your fingers, carpals and wrists to a LOT more shock than if you were playing on calf skin or plastic, even more shock than if you were using a hydraulic drill breaking up asphalt all day long. The shock is in fact so great, that a loose, rebound-oriented technique on kevlar is far greater than bad, stiff technique on plastic or calf. This shock wears out the ligaments and will eventually cause bones rubbing together, or slipping, trapping nerves. A propos nerves, thanks to the shock they're subjected to they take substantial damage. You use kevlar heads, you'll be giving an orthopedist a lot of money in later years. Fatigue happens, sure, but it happens at an far more accelerated rate if you use kevlar heads.

                  Stu
                  "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [QUOTE]Originally posted by zmorton:
                    [B

                    In 1998 and 1999 the Vanguard snare line (which I was a member of both) used a very relaxed rebound oriented style and with tilted snares. And for simply sake of argument we won drums in 1998 with this style.

                    Hey, no pain no gain.
                    I got a scholarship to Berklee with only a few months on my drum set but with the six years of drum corps made the transition very easy.
                    --------------------------------------------
                    Zmorton,

                    With all due respect, I don't care how many championships, or scholarships you've won. The fact is people are having serious problems.

                    These are my opinons based on my experiences as a performer and an educator for over 20 years. You can disagree if you want, this info. is for people who want to play forever. Nothing is more frustrating than playing in pain or worse, not being able to play at all!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "With all due respect, I don't care how many championships, or scholarships you've won. The fact is people are having serious problems."

                      mfmia, thats fine. The reason I mentioned those things was do give my writing some credible reference and to give somthing to say that what I had learned in drum corps was good technique. Not to imply or even dispute that others are not having problems. The other reason these specific drum lines were mentioned was for simply the reason that these specific lines did not use as you say "the drum corp method of playing. Too tight, wrist flat and the Kevlar heads" You made a drastic generalization in lumping all of drum corps into this method of playing, and once again it dirrectly attacks my foundation as a player, but I guess poorly trained players get those type of awards. Mentioning those awards is the only way I can give myself credibility in text, since you can't see or hear me, ie a resume of sorts.

                      "Sorry mate, but the quote "No pain, no gain" is ridiculous."

                      mcconaghy, that statement was in context and in reference to fatigue, which is very real in such a physical activity as drum corps.

                      "Playing on kevlar you're subjecting your fingers, carpals and wrists to a LOT more shock than if you were playing on calf skin or plastic"

                      I didn't dispute that either, and, this is all the more reason to make sure your playing with a relaxed open technique.

                      "The shock is in fact so great, that a loose, rebound-oriented technique on kevlar is far greater than bad, stiff technique on plastic or calf."

                      Can we prove that?

                      My involvment in this dicussion is involved with the idea that drum corps playing causes these injuries. My position is that bad playing causes injuries, what ever the musical context.

                      Thanks again for the conversation,

                      Zak


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey! I've been away for many weeks!

                        Ok. I can't believe people still don't understand! This is generally the order in which injuries occur. 1st:Muscle 2nd:Connective Tissue 3rd:Bone. If you don't have sufficient muscle mass (i.e.strength) in a particular bodypart or appendage, your ligaments & tendons will suffer the remaining stress (brunt of damage). Bones are the last to break (& wear), unless the impact/stress is instantaneously massive. How do I know this? Because I've had just about every injury possible, from slight to severe. A Broken face, 2 hands & several fingers, rotator cuff, right tibula, an umbilical hernia, an inguinal hernia, muscle strains of all kinds, torn deltoid ligament, etc. I've recovered from each one fully - 100%! How? By staying strong and healthy. Using my musculature as it should be used. The stronger your hand, wrist, & forearm muscles become, the less you will suffer joint and nerve pain. It'd be wise to apply this philosophy to your entire body, not just your hands. My advice: Don't have surgery. Join a gym and start weight training! And don't just do your chest and biceps like all the vain, young morons do. Good luck to you DJourg.

                        ------------------
                        -Alex. & V-Drums: http://www.zing.com/album/?id=429276...ulation_page=Y
                        Thanx. Alex & me V's! http://photos.yahoo.com/flexapr

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the replies.

                          Yeah, some good advice. Everyone else I've consulted also suggested getting second or third opinions. I've set up some more appointments with different doctors. This could take awhile (2 weeks was the soonest I could get).

                          Alexander, your point is well taken, I think much of my problems could have been avoided by keeping in shape. Let myself go for a while there. At this point I think your exercises would worsen my condition. But once I clear this thing up I'll get strong---I ain't going through this again.

                          This is a complex issue, I'm finding out; very little is clear-cut black and white. I'll keep you all posted.

                          DJ

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OK DJ, perhaps you avoided my earlier questions because they were too personal? Sorry. Anyways, I thought I would take this time to mention an alternative to surgery. I had always dismissed accupuncture as viable medical treatment, but no longer. That stuff really works! My Lady has eliminated her allergies and a close relative who requires some pretty strong (& addictive) prescription pain medication has has 86'd the drugs for the needles and is pain-free.

                            The only negative I can find w/this kind of treatment is that it's not permanent. I do not know if this is typical, or if it's the particular condition or if it's a limitation of this one individual practioner. I think I'll study up on this stuff. Seems cheap, effective, and I believe I would prefer tiny small needles (even though I'm one of them types that pass-out at the mere sighting of a hypo) over the surgeon's knife.

                            -Marc.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK, so you've got my attention on this subject. Looking back over this I don't see where anyone has covered what the symptoms of CTS are, can someone tell me please? I've been having joint pain in my hands, but it doesn't seem to be related to my playing drums. I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it's probably arthritis as I have developed that in my knees and neck and figure it's just a matter of time until it starts to affect my playing in some way. It's not bad enough to slow me down, it's just annoying. I would like to find out it's something treatable, but I doubt it.

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