What to expect after carpal tunnel release surgery

How long does the pain last after carpal tunnel surgery?

Your hand and wrist may feel worse than they had felt. But the pain should begin to go away. It usually takes 3 to 4 months to recover and up to 1 year before hand strength returns. How much hand strength returns will vary.

What is normal pain after carpal tunnel surgery?

Paresthesias and scar tenderness are common in the subacute recovery phase following carpal tunnel release. A flare or aggravation of symptoms is common in the period of two to six weeks after surgery.

Is it normal to have pins and needles after carpal tunnel surgery?

It is caused by a compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel at the wrist. Sometimes treatment might involve surgery to release pressure on the median nerve. Following this, however, the fingers may still tingle, feel numb or be painful, and there is a simple reason for this.

What can go wrong after carpal tunnel surgery?

For both types of carpal tunnel release surgery, they include: Bleeding. Damage to your median nerve or nearby nerves and blood vessels. Infection of your wound.

Is it normal to have severe pain after 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.

What does Pillar pain feel like?

It is defined as pain and tenderness localized to the prominences of the trapezial ridge, scaphoid tubercle, pisiform or hook of the hamate. Pillar pain has a reported incidence between 6 and 36% and has no known etiology or natural course. It has been noted to last about 4-6 months.

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Where is pillar pain located?

Pillar pain is the pain experienced to the sides of the incision in the thicker parts of the palm, called the thenar and hypothenar eminence. 4 Pain in these regions is where the attachments of the transverse ligament to the carpal bones (forming the carpal tunnel) are located.

When should I start physical therapy after carpal tunnel surgery?

However, it can take three to four months to recover after carpal tunnel surgery, it might even take a whole year before you regain all or most of your hand strength. Taking part in physical therapy after carpal tunnel surgery can help speed up your recovery.

How soon can you use your hand after carpal tunnel 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.

Is tingling a sign of nerve healing?

It is important to differentiate this tingling from the pain sometimes produced by pressure on an injured nerve. The pain is a sign of irritation of the nerve; tingling is a sign of regeneration; or more precisely, tingling indicates the presence of young axons, in the process of growing.

Is pins and needles a sign of nerve recovery?

The nerve structures, as they recover, tend to be irritable for a period of time. That’s because the nerves are firing spontaneously. Most of the time, the pins and needles feeling is a good sign. It’s a short-term phase that means nerves are coming back to life.

Do you lose strength after carpal tunnel surgery?

Few studies have documented the long-term recovery of hand function after open carpal tunnel release surgery. Grip strength and manual dexterity were measured before and every five weeks up to 25 weeks after open carpal tunnel release in a sample of 11 affected wrists.

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Should I wear a wrist 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.

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