Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when there’s increased pressure on the median nerve. There are nonsurgical ways to treat it, but they are not always enough to mitigate the pain caused by the condition. That’s why carpal tunnel syndrome release surgery exists. In this post, we will discuss some tips to help you with post-surgery.
You will likely have a splint or heavy bandage on your wrist, which your orthopedic doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove. You should regularly move your fingers to prevent stiffness and help circulation.
You will experience some pain in your hand and wrist for the next 24 to 72 hours. To ease this discomfort, take pain relievers that your orthopedic surgeon has prescribed. Before resuming any activities, check with your doctor to see if there are any (temporary) restrictions, such as diet, activity, or medicine restrictions.
One Week After Surgery
You should still experience some pain in your hand and wrist. It’s normal. The pain is supposed to lessen as your body responds to the healing. However, if you experience severe pain, you should contact your orthopedic surgeon immediately.
You might be able to go back to work a week after the injury, but it depends on which hand was hurt. On the other hand, you may need more time to recover if it's your dominant hand. Listen to your body and take breaks when you're tired. Don't push yourself too hard.
Two to Three Weeks After Surgery
After a week or two, you'll have your stitches removed. Your pain and soreness will start to go down by then, but you may need to keep wearing the splint or bandage for another month or so.
You should be able to resume exercising and driving after a two-week recovery period. However, you should avoid anything that puts a lot of strain on your wrist. These activities include:
Don't start an activity when you'll have to do it frequently. Instead, do it less often. For example, if you play golf, play every other month instead of once a week. Your hand will have time to get stronger.
Long-Term Recovery Tips
During the first six to 12 months after your surgery, you should:
You may need to wear a cast or brace for one month after the procedure, depending on the severity of the injury.
After about a year, you should be able to resume regular activities, but it may take longer for your wrist to heal. You may need additional time off your job if you do manual labor.
If your job doesn't require much hand or wrist movement, you may be able to go back to work as soon as your splint or brace comes off.
It might seem like a lot of work, but, in the end, surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is worth it. Most people experience a significant improvement in their hand and wrist pain when they undergo the surgery.
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