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Recovery after Carpal tunnel Surgery? (Page 1)

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I am scheduled for right hnad surgery on September 25. My main question is, how long is the minimum recommended time off work a person should be taking? I do a lot of things with my hands and of course i am right handed. Lots of computer typing, stapling, hole punching and a lot of grasping like opening ziplock bags of things as all our orders are kept in those. Even now I am dropping things, have pain shooting up both arms and even have headaches and neck pain from it. I even already have the pillar pain, so I'm hoping the after surgery effects wont be waaaay more severe than what i have currently, but I don't wnat to go back too soon and cause healing problems. I don't get paid for the time off, hence the minimum time away that is considered safe.
I realize everyone heals differently, so its obviously a lose guess, but i would be very interetsed in others work experiences and how long they needed off, just so i can have a ball park as to what to tell the boss.

Thnaks, all.
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First Helper Haggis
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replied July 26th, 2009
Community Volunteer
Hopefully someone who has had the surgery will be able to answer you on this...However, if they don't, talk to a Physical Therapist...They will give you the best answer...Sometimes a doctor can say that you are ready to go far earlier than you can...This I found out with my husband's various surgeries...We all heal different...Good luck....

Caroline
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replied August 27th, 2009
carpal tunnel recovery time
I've just had keyhole carpal tunnel surgery 14/7/09 on my right hand. I work in a school kitchen preparing food for upto 1300 children. I thought and was adamant that I would return after 4 weeks however it is taking a bit longer. I don;t get paid for time off therefore especially if you're right handed I think the minimum time off would be 6 weeks. My friend went back before she was ready and she has regretted that decision ever since.
My scar is still very tender and I don't have enough strength back in my right hand to push and cut with a knife. The surgery itself was great but there is no fast track method for recovery and healing time. Don't rush it cause you have to live with your hand forever and if you stuff it up there is no one to blame but yourself.
Hope this helps.
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replied September 14th, 2009
i've been off 4 weeks now but had the carpal tunnel and trigger thumb surgery with a cyst on the thumb joint removed. The incision sites are very tender and I can't stand to have something touch them. I go back to the doctor thursday and will probably be returned to work the following Monday so that will be about 4 1/2 weeks off. I'm not sure I can do my job yet in which I climb ladders, turn valves, use hand tools and computer. Good luck to ou!
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replied September 16th, 2009
I am currently recovering from carpal tunnel surgery on my right dominant hand. I had the surgery 3 weeks ago and came back to work after 2 weeks, but should have taken off longer...just couldn't afford to. I am a nurse and my job requires a LOT of writing which I am struggling with along with some of my other duties. Also per my physical therapist am not allowed yet to lift more than 5 lbs with that hand or grasp/squeeze/push/pull anything with much resistance in it. The surgeon and his staff there really played down the recovery to this procedure. He said they send some people back to work after 3 days post op and I can't see how they can do that. My physical therapist is the one who told me that it takes at minimum 4-6 wks to heal properly and in my case it may take longer because of my work. I wish I could have given myself more time and I advise it to others to make sure especially from the sounds of your job that you give it at least 3-4 wks from work. Good luck!
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replied February 7th, 2010
carpal tunnel syndrome and workers comp
This is a reply to Smeets and anyone else who finds it appropriate. I also work in a kitchen in a building of 2500 people. This is a work related condition and you should be able to report it to workers comp in your state. That's what I'm doing. I work for Sodexo in New Jersey and everything has been approved. I get my left wrist done next month and then have to do the other one. Here workers comp pays 70 percent of your income and it's not taxable. You should check into it. FMLA paperwork protects your job and the statute of limitations is 2 years.
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replied March 11th, 2012
tunnel release surgery
i had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands 4 days ago they wont let me go back to work for 6 weeks i tried the workers comp route and was denied 3 times i also work in a kitchen and prepare meals for 200 people i know its work related but guess it depends on where you live if your approved or not.
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replied May 24th, 2010
i had surgery on my right hand 5 weeks ago and need the other hand doing,but i am in worse pain than before the op,and still off work. have to see the specialist tomorrow. i dont feel i am able to going back to work as i am on a pc 8 hrs a day, call after call. so theres no let up from the work. i asked the doctor is it work related but he would not commit to saying it was. instead he just said its hard to say what causes it,.i am going to be putting in claim.plus i am reluctant to get the other hand done as i am still in agony
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replied June 15th, 2010
Carpal Tunnel Surgery/Recovery
I have had this C/T in both hands for 6 years, have had every therapy possible,worn night splints for just over 3 years. Well I had surgery one week ago today, had a little discomfort for three days. Took only 4 painkillers in the first two days.I can move all my fingers well,stitches are getting a little tight now but still no real problem. Get the other hand done next week,that will be a challenge,but will be able to brush my teeth with my right hand again.Some things are hard like pulling up your undies with one hand,I have started to wear my fuller cut style as they are easier to pull on! Zips are not easy either,so I wear my trackies at home,lacing my walking shoes can not do,so bought little toggles from the shoe repairer,or you can put in elastic laces.Styling my hair is ok could be better but all worth it.Will let you know how I go after next week.
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replied July 3rd, 2010
Have had both wrists done now. Went back to work 2 weeks after each op. I work in a petrol station, working tills and lifting things, found no problem returning to normal. Have had no c/t related problems since, the only downside is doing things one handed for two weeks after the op and until you have your stitches out. Not being able to drive and being a single parent of two young children was quite challenging!
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replied September 14th, 2010
carpel tunnel
i have had carpel tunnel for the past 8 years, after many years of suffering i have decided to get both hands done at the same time, the doc recommended this to cut time off work. After reading the challenges some people are having after surgery maybe i should have got one hand done at a time.Lucky i have a great wife.
Its of to surgery tomorrow.
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replied September 14th, 2010
carpel tunnel
i have had carpel tunnel for the past 8 years, after many years of suffering i have decided to get both hands done at the same time, the doc recommended this to cut time off work. After reading the challenges some people are having after surgery maybe i should have got one hand done at a time.Lucky i have a great wife.
Its of to surgery tomorrow.
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replied November 17th, 2010
Carpel Tunnel recovery time
I had carpel tunnel surgery on my right hand two weeks ago and surgery on my left hand a week ago. The incision in my right hand healed more quickly than my left but I am still unable to use my right hand except very minimally and am unable to pick anything up with either hand. Suggestion to the person having it done, both hands on the same day....DON'T DO IT! JUST DON'T DO both hands at the same time!
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replied February 9th, 2011
I agree! Don't do them at the same time. I think 3 months apart should be the closest time frame.
I just had my second hand done one week ago. I must be really lucky with this because I have not had much trouble either time. I do have a surgeon that is a hand specialist with years of doing a couple dozen a week. I think there is a difference in doctors and techniques.
I was off only two days the first time but took 4 work days this time. I'm lucky though to be in a job where the writing is mimimal. I type a lot but that has not seemed to be a problem.
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replied February 12th, 2011
Hi, its now 24 hours since my surgery, had to have larger opening in hand and have 9 stitches. I can wiggle my fingers, thumb is a bit sore. All in all its not as painful as I thought it might be. Incision site is a bit tender. I am managing with paracetamol and chocolate for painrelief. I teach yoga and hope only to have a week off. I'll keep you posted. Glad i agreed to only have one hand done. em xx
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replied February 16th, 2011
Now its day 5 since my surgery and I feel fantastic. Yes its a little sore when I wiggle my thumb too much. Swelling is all down. Don't have much strength to pick things up but it doesn't really hurt that much. I am really pleased so far. Stitches out next wednesday, I had 9.

I suggest a diet of cake and chocolate to aid recovery. Oh and lots of yoga before your operation. I have full range of movements with my wrist and no pain. I put this down to my yoga xx em (ps I am the teacher after all)
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replied April 12th, 2011
carpal tunnel surgery recovery
it's been 5 days since ct surgery on my left hand. right hand needs it too but i'll wait. have done yoga in the past and would like to get into it. how soon can this happen (to those that practice yoga as well)?
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replied March 2nd, 2011
Agree with the diet advice of chocolate and cake as long as someone is there to help open/cut. I had my C.T op on my left wrist done 6 days ago. I work as a cook and sailor on a classic yacht and in May we have our first regatta. Every halyard/sheet/jigger etc is pulled by hand and brute strength is part of my life during the summer months. So i have a few months to recover from the surgery till then. the advice my surgeon gave was not to use it AT ALL for the 1st week. VERY LITTLE and gently gently for the 1st 3 weeks. VERY CAREFULLY for the 1st 6 weeks and when im racing i will wear my carpel tunnel brace for 6 months. I have found that wearing a sling really helps make sure i dont use it and people realise better that you cant. I will use it on and off for the 3 week window i think.
Aswell as cake and chocolate, im trying to eat lots of green veg, almonds and am taking vitamin c, calcium, vitamin b for the nerve repair, glucosamine sulphate and a good multi vit.
Had my right wrist done 8 years ago and healed very well and have had no problems since.
goodluck
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replied March 15th, 2011
Interesting reading all of the posts here and the range of time it has taken for recovery.

I have had my right hand done 6 weeks ago , left hand needs doing but nothing would make me go through this again. i still dont have the range of movement and pain is still a problem as is grip. i would have thought things would have been a lot better sooner!!!! and to think i was going to have BOTH done at the same time SHUDDER!!!!!

Having the stitches taken out was a real nightmare and took half an hour as my hand was still very swollen making it near impossible to get them out AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR never again

Choc i agree should be given for recovery , but as i cant break chunks off yet i will just have to eat the whole bar....... Smile))))
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replied April 4th, 2011
I so feel you about 2nd thoughts getting the left hand done. I need my left one done as well but going through this with my right I dont see me doing it either! Good luck to you as I know your pain.
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Thanks for your patience!

replied April 4th, 2011
When to go back to work after carpel tunnel surgery?
I had surgery on the right hand 2 weeks ago this wednesday. I had the stitches removed 4 days ago although just had 3 stitches my hand is sore more then ever. Last couple days was hurting so bad was in tears takin pain pills left and right. Today not as painful but still very swollen and bruised and cant grip or even put my jeans on. Dr put me back to work today but called them and told them no way I can go back as my job consists 8 hrs of continued keying, stamping, opening mail ect. I think I need at least another week before returning and hoping will be much better. Just dont understand why the dr says oh you will be fine and can go back right away dont see how people do it. I guess we all heal different. Thanks for all your stories interesting hearing the different recoverys.
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replied June 5th, 2011
i had same surgery done on 27th may so it been a week now not looking forward having stiches out next friday my hand is so knumb in eves horrid
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replied August 29th, 2012
Stitches
Hi

I do not understand why everyone is having stitches taken out I never had I think they dissolve on their own
Had right hand done 2 years ago and left hand recently.

I feel we should all allow min 6 weeks to heal along with physical therapy hand stretching very important I have
Found... You can google yoga for carpal tunnel people swear by it.. More stretching ....

Thank you!!
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replied June 5th, 2011
i had same surgery done on 27th may so it been a week now not looking forward having stiches out next friday my hand is so knumb in eves horrid
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replied April 5th, 2011
Carpel Tunnel op
I had my c/t op done on 1st April. No Pain at all in my fingers and get my stitches out on the 12th. Im thinking of going back to work on the 13th. I cant believe that the pain I had in the forearm and elbow have also disapeared as I was told this was due to tennis elbow.I would recommend dont put off have it done asap.
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replied April 21st, 2011
Had surgery done on 5th April 2011 for right hand and stitches out on 20th April. One part of hand not healed and have small hole, numbness and pain in thumb and hand falls to the left hand side when palm faced upwards. Have seen and need to continue to see Phiso. In addition to this hand still sore with shooting pains and still some swelling.
However not half as bad as the carpal tunnel symptoms I experinenced 24hours a day for 2 and a half years.2weeks off work already and further 4 weeks given by consultant on 20.04.11.
Left hand being done 24th of May and not really sure how I feel particulary with two kids under 3 and a less than helpful partner.
Good luck all
Left hand being done opn 24th May
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