What to expect from carpal tunnel surgery

How painful is carpal tunnel surgery?

At three months following carpal tunnel surgery, your numbness and pain still could be byproducts of the procedure. Many people find the incision causes pain and irritation as it heals. In addition, a condition called ‘pillar pain,’ which is a localized reaction to the surgery, can lead to discomfort.

How long before you can use your hand after carpal tunnel surgery?

You can use your hand lightly in the first 2 weeks, but it helps to avoid too much strain. Slowly, you can get back to more normal activities, like: Driving (a couple of days after surgery) Writing (after a week, but expect 4-6 weeks before it feels easier.)

What are the side effects of having carpal tunnel surgery?

Side-effects of carpal tunnel release surgery

  • pain and discomfort along the cut on your hand.
  • stiffness in your hand.
  • swelling – keeping your hand up should help to reduce this.
  • a noticeable scar that will gradually fade.
  • your scar feeling tender after the operation – this usually settles down within a few months.

How do I prepare for carpal tunnel surgery?

Preparing for carpal tunnel release

Tell your doctor about all the medicines and supplements you’re currently taking. Your doctor may instruct you to stop taking some of your medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood thinners) one week before your scheduled surgery.

How much can you use your hand after carpal tunnel surgery?

Once your sutures are removed, you can increase activities as tolerated but avoid heavy repetitive activities for 4 weeks after surgery. Most patients who have carpal tunnel release regain full use of their hand, with full motion and return of strength within about 4 weeks after their surgery.

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How long are you off work when you have carpal tunnel surgery?

If you had open surgery on your dominant hand and you do repeated actions at work, you may be able to return to work in 6 to 8 weeks. Repeated motions include typing or assembly-line work. If the surgery was on the other hand and you do not do repeated actions at work, you may be able to return to work in 7 to 14 days.

Can you damage your hand after carpal tunnel surgery?

Your hand will hurt and may feel weak with some numbness. This usually goes away in a few days, but it may take several months. Your doctor may remove the large bandage, or he or she will tell you when and how to remove it yourself. In some cases, you may have a splint.

How do you know if your carpal tunnel is severe?

As carpal tunnel syndrome becomes more severe, you may have less grip strength because the muscles in your hand shrink. Pain and muscle cramping will also become worse. The median nerve begins to lose function because of the irritation or pressure around it.

Do you wear a brace after carpal tunnel surgery?

Immediately after carpal tunnel surgery, patients will wear a bandage and/or splint to help stabilize the wrist after the procedure. Be sure to keep this bandage/splint on at all times to brace the wrist and aid in healing. Do not place any unnecessary stress or strain on the operated hand/wrist.

Which surgery is better for carpal tunnel?

Discussion. Endoscopic surgery in carpal tunnel syndrome resulted in less postoperative pain in the scar and proximal palm and related limitation of activity than open surgery, but the differences were generally small.

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How do I stop my hands from going numb when I sleep?

Sleep with your arms at your sides instead of above your head. Sleeping with your arms above your head can cause numbness by cutting off circulation to your hands. Avoid folding your arms under your pillow while you sleep. The weight of your head can put pressure on your wrists or elbows and compress a nerve.

When should you get carpal tunnel surgery?

Why might your doctor recommend surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome? Your doctor might recommend surgery if: You’ve had very bad symptoms for a long time, so you’re at risk of having lasting nerve damage. Test show that you have nerve damage.

Will I be awake during carpal tunnel surgery?

Carpal tunnel surgery can be performed while you are awake, which allows you to avoid the negative aspects of general anesthesia while still getting the full benefit of the procedure.

Are you asleep for carpal tunnel surgery?

As with most surgeries, carpal tunnel release is not without its risks. Your wrist will be made numb and you may be given medicine to make you sleepy and not feel pain (called local anesthesia) for the procedure.

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