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Recovery Time From Carpal Tunnel Surgery (Page 1)

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Learn the basics about carpal tunnel syndrome here: causes, risk factors and complications....
Are some people born with carpal tunnel? More here on what can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and who is at risk of developing the condition....
Carpal tunnel syndrome is accompanied by very clear signs and symptoms. But how do symptoms change as the syndrome progresses? More info here....
Is surgery required for mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome? I have been diagnosed with mild carpal tunnel syndrome recently. I am under meds for now, but my doctor suggested surgery as option. If I decide to go on surgery I want to know the recovery time from carpal tunnel surgery and some other informations related to it. Please, someone tell me about their experience!
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First Helper me_mybusiness
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replied July 16th, 2007
Experienced User
I'd Do It
The surgery is the only option in some patients (like me). I have had 3 surgeries (two in the last year) for hand problems. The recovery is not so pleasant (especially the re-hab), but you'll be glad later. I was casted for 10 days and then released to do whatevr I could tolerate. I'd say it took me about a month to be at 90% again. I never had 'down time' except for the cast and I am a carpenter so I destroy my hands. If you can rest and re-hab it, you'll be sitting pretty. The surgery is nothing. Good luck!
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replied September 19th, 2008
Re: I'd Do It
"The recovery is not so pleasant (especially the re-hab), but you'll be glad later."
I so hope you're right...........!!! ... wait what's meant by rehab??

I had a severe case of cts and operated... I'm in quite bit of pain (lots of it actually but according to my doc it's psychological... man do I hate that man right now...). I don't think surgury is completely necessary for mild cases -- mine was scheduled as urgent though, so I'm not sure.

Whatever you feel more comfortable with you should do!!
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replied May 15th, 2009
Depends on your doctor & how quickly you want to recover
I had been suffering with CT for about 8 years, with the last 2 years sleeping in the splints and waking up with that sharp pain--even tried the cortisone shots (not terribly helpful).
I spoke to a couple of doctors, as one of my friends had the surgery done on just one hand and was dealing with swelling and lots of pain afterwards--I was not interested in doing that.
I found one that I really liked, and that had been recommended to me by several doctors. He suggested that I get BOTH wrists done at the same time. I used ONLY a local on each wrist (which was the most unpleasant part of the whole experience) and was awake through the whole procedure.
He did NOT put me in casts or splints. I was in bandages for 3 days, which was replaced by a bandaid over the incision/stitches. Before I left the hospital, I made sure that I could make a fist (which a little help from my other hand), and really worked hard on my range of motion for a few days. I iced my hands a lot for the first few days, which I think really helped prevent any swelling.
It's exactly one week after my surgery and I feel great. The CT pain is gone (was almost immediately). My wrists still ache some from where the incision was. I have full range of mobility (have started to play the piano again, albeit gingerly). What I can't do right now is: open water bottle, jars or pill bottles, lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. My strength is coming back very quickly and improves each day.
I think the success of this procedure is based on 2 things: 1) your doctor, and his/her willingness to put you on a path to speedy recovery and 2) your state of mind. Being aggressive with the recovery (not lifting heavy things, icing, working on range of motion, etc) has really helped me. I know everyone is different & that my perspective is probably VERY different than many folks' perspective. I'm so thrilled with where I am right now & am really glad that I had this done.
Hope it helps. Good luck!
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replied October 26th, 2012
Seriously,..how did you you wipe your butt after having both done at once?
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replied November 10th, 2012
carpal tunnel recovery
baby wipes
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replied January 8th, 2013
I don't recommend having both done at once except for extreme cases and I can't think of any. I had shoulder and ear surgery two weeks apart decades ago and regretted it. My logic was that if I was going to miss work, I might as well miss it for two reasons instead of just one. My body didn't agree with that reasoning. It apparently wanted to just focus on healing one area. It affected me psychologically for a full year.

I just had surgery for severe CTS in my left hand and am recuperating well. The surgery went well at a smaller hospital than I expected.

I am now on the internet to get tips on how to bathe while still wearing a splint without getting it wet.
I also want to know how much I can do and how soon because I seem to be healing so well and I have no caregiver to help me.

I would caution the piano player to wait before before even mild playing since stress and stretching is not good.
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replied May 15th, 2009
Community Volunteer
I think that you have opened the eyes of anyone who was thinking of having this surgery....Your results are wonderful and an inspiration to anyone who is thinking about this operation...This has made me feel far more comfortable about having it done...Thanks again.....

Caroline
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replied September 29th, 2012
cts
this surgery is very painful after i am on day three after my op an the swelling an pain is awful i can not grip anything or put my hand under any pressure i much prefered the ache hands pins an needles an numbness sorry to say this but i dont think i will be getting the other done in 8 to 10 weeks i dont want to recomend this pain for anyone Sad it took me 20 mins to type this with my left hand !
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replied August 4th, 2009
Carpal Tunnel surgery, bilateral
I had minimally invasive (1.7 cm), open carpal tunnel surgery on both hands 7/16/09 while under local anesethetic and light sedation (propofol) in Algonquin, IL. I used ice packs for at least a day. Pain and restricted function were worse the next day than just after surgery. My bandages came off after three days. I had a 4# weight lifting restriction for 10 days. Initially I couldn't open a jam jar or slice a loaf of bread. I was able to button a shirt with difficulty. A 10 day follow-up doctor visit indicated I was recovering nicely. I bent my fingers down to the palm to aid recovery. Therapy wasn't necessary. At 18 days I am well along my way to recovery. I still can't lift heavy things (20#). Scraping paint on a house and painting caused some hand pain. Now I can sleep on either side without numbness or tingling. My problems were more numbness and tingling than pain. EMG test indicated severe CPS in both wrists (14.6 and 7.2 ms conduction across my right and left wrists). I am glad that I had the surgery.
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replied September 14th, 2009
carpal tunnel surgery recovery
Because I couldn't tolerate total downtime as a single mom, I got the surgery ( a mini-open) done on only my left wrist last year. It has not bothered me at all since. On the other hand (pardon the pun), my right wrist now keeps me awake all hours of the night with pain, tingling, and numbness- sure signs it's past time for that second surgery! I'm eagerly looking forward to it, as the temporary post-surgical discomfort I'll feel will definitely be worth being pain-free and well-rested after.
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replied October 31st, 2009
I am due for CTS next week - both hands at the same time. How much help do I need at home the 1st few days- My husband is not able to take time off from work. My surgeon uses the mini-open method- The job I have to go back to is call center - typing 8 hrs per day- Has anyone dealt with that?
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replied November 21st, 2009
Hi I am on my second week of recovery from CTS and I feel great! I had my open surgery on a Friday so I had my partner home with me for the weekend which I feel was a great help....I found the bandaging uncomfortable and was glad to take it off on the third day..then like others I just had a bandaid!.....I felt confident enough once my partner went back to work on the Monday to do light duties...i.e putting the kettle on!!! I to am a typist and I have found typing fine although my hands do ache after a time but the exercise is good! I highly recommend this op and I am looking forward to have my Right hand done next year! I hope this helps!
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replied January 5th, 2010
CTS Surgery Results
I just went in to have my stitches removed from my second CTS surgery. I had the left hand done 4 weeks ago and the right hand 2 weeks ago. On the first surgery, the plan was to do the 'arthroscopic' procedure, but the area was too swollen, so he wound up doing a "mini" open procedure, with about a 1 1/2" incision in the palm plus the small wrist incision. Bandaged in a splint-like bandage for 7 days, then just regular band-aids. Completely numb the day of surgery, then some pain that night and the next day. I was typing with it on the 3rd day, although a little gingerly. Bandage off in 7 days, good flexibility, and all sensation returned. Periodic little pains in the local area, but nothing significant. Palm a little numb in the pad right around the incision still.

Right hand surgery was just the arthroscopic procedure, with the same bandage contraption for 4 days, then just a band-aid. I still have some numbness in half of my thumb and the tip of my middle finger, and have some significant shooting pains when doing a couple of things (opening a jar or bottle, and tying my shoes). Doctor said that was normal and feeling should return over the next few weeks, and the pain should resolve itself, too.

I've been using a stress squeeze ball and it seems to help keep my fingers flexible. I've really had no major problems, though, and am quite happy I had it done. I haven't had any of the night pains or numbness or any of the other numbness I had doing all kinds of things in the past, so it's been successful as near as I can tell!
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replied January 21st, 2010
CT Surgery for a chef???
This is so great that I found this page. I am only 22 and I have to get CT surgery on my left (dominant) wrist in a couple of weeks? I have my consultation on Monday. Is it common that you end up getting both wrists done eventually as I am beginning to feel the symptoms in my right wrist. Also, I am a chef so presumably I wouldn't be fit for work to soon after the op. That wouldn't be ideal. Would my profession make my recovery time longer?
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replied January 26th, 2010
Experienced User
carpel tunnel compression
Just had the compression operation done 5 days ago.Had it done under Local i would highly recommend local as you dont feel ill after,and you really dont feel a thing,perhaps a little tugging sensation but not pain.Must admit day after op was more painful and i just had my bandage taken off.Still covered and stitches come out 10-14 days after op.I do feel more sensation in my hand now even so early after surgery! I would recommend open surgery and will be going for my other hand done in approx 4 months.
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replied February 3rd, 2010
Hi, I have found everyone's comments on here really useful. I am due to have surgery for the fist time in a few weeks and I have been concerned as to how quickly I can get back to work. I work in an office and use a computer, my boss is due to have a baby next week and I need to cover her position, so timeout is not a good thing. Also, vane I know, as it is my right hand and I am right handed I wanted to know if I would be able to hold my hairdryer??
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replied February 6th, 2010
Experienced User
Hi miss bloisy...your first que how quickly can i get back to work just depends really as different people heal at different times i had my surgery done about 16 days ago im not ready to go back to work as yet but if it is just typing and computor work i should imagine a week is enough however i would always follow your gps advice.Your second question is to when you can hold your hairdryer,i used mine day after with my left hand you will be amazed how adaptable you can be! Holding in the right hand is difficult as it is the weight you have to be careful with,also i found i didnt have the strength in my wrist to do my hair as i normally would till around day 9 of the op..hope that helps.
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replied February 6th, 2010
Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Surgery (Endoscopic)
I am scheduled to have endoscopic surgery on both hands on 2/23. Taking time off from work is very difficult and at most I will have 6 days. My questions is, some are telling me I'm even going to have a difficult time using the bathroom by myself, so now I'm questioning whether I should have both hands done at the same time. My job consists of posting on a computer. Not a lot of lifting
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replied June 20th, 2011
help
How did this work out for you? I am scheduled to have the endoscopic CT surgery next week and I am unsure of whether or not to do both hands or not? I have a 13 month at home. Thanks
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replied June 20th, 2011
How did this work out for you? I am scheduled to have the endoscopic CT surgery next week and I am unsure of whether or not to do both hands or not? I have a 13 month at home. Thanks
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replied January 9th, 2012
One at a time!
I had endoscopic surgery on my left hand one month ago. Had prolonged numbness of 2nd, 3rd and 4th finger for 4-5 days. Still have numbness of tip of third and tiny bit on 2nd and 4th. Had "pins and needles" for almost 2 weeks. Probably due to the fact that this hand was pretty bad going into surgery. Had the right hand done 5 days ago. Totally different experience (same doc, same technique). No numbness anywhere after 36 hours. Just sore in palm. There is NO way I would have both done at once (just my opinion), unless you don't mind having someone help you do almost everything (including dressing, help in the bathroom, etc) for 3-4 days. Hardest part of recovery is sudden sharp pain when you try to put any weight on your palm (including to stand up), and having other people open my bottles of diet coke! The nighttime numbness and pain are gone! I was waking every hour at night for weeks before finally going to see surgeon. He recommended an urgent repair due to sensory loss and muscle atrophy. So glad I had it done!
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Users who thank kidcardio for this post: spunkymunky 

replied October 20th, 2012
Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery Recovery
I work 12 hour shifts which consist primarily of computer work as well. I had the endoscopic surgery on my left hand 2 days ago, and came into work the next day (yesterday). The first day was awkward as I had to keep my hand above heart level all day and could only type with one hand. Today i am typing this with both hands and have basically no pain. As noted in other posts, gripping or pulling with the affected hand or hands can be painful, but I am amazed to think that i just had the procedure done 2 days ago, and am basically back up to speed at work. If yo are having both done at once, you will need help with things at home, including the bathroom. Good Luck!
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replied February 7th, 2010
Carpal Tunnel recovery
I had open surgery on my right wrist on Monday. It took longer to do the paperwork than the op and there was no pain at all with a local anesthetic. As soon as I came out of the operating room I was bending my fingers constantly while it was still numb. The most pain was the next day and evening, only because i prefer not to take pain killers. Woke on the Wednesday morning and there was no pain at all which felt a bit strange and sudden. I used an elastic band in my good hand and put it on each finger and kept exercising as much as I could stick. I couldnt undo tight bottles or jars for a couple of days but its much better now (Sunday) and I can lift the coal scuttle full and open the car doors. Its probably not advisable to try lifting so much so early but its what you feel comfortable with.
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replied February 14th, 2010
Experienced User
hi mstanley,i must admit after having the surgery recently i wouldnt personally have both hands done at the same time.It is very difficult to understand the nature of this op untill you have been through it.It is not so much painful after surgery as it is awkward! I found going to the toilet,showering and washing/drying hair very difficult as your wrist does seem to have minimal movement.You will find it difficult to do even the most mundane tasks and frustrating too! I personally wouldnt have both hands done at the same time,in fact my surgeon advised against it and after having it done on my right hand i understand why! However the plus side is that at least its done in one go.6 days may be enough time for you if your job is computor work,my job involves a lot of lifting and i am just about able to lift/push household objects at the mo never mind heavy things! Hope that has answered some of your questions please let us know how you get on x
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replied February 22nd, 2010
CT surgery
I had ct surgery on my right hand on Jan 29. My hand was completely numb and extremely swollen for 4 days after. The freezing took forever to come out. I was unable to use hand for anything afterwards for 2 weeks. It was very difficult doing everything with my left hand only. Getting dressed was even a challenge. Luckily my husband is home to help me. I got stitches out in 13 days and incision split open. I had to go to emerg to get it taped up. At 3 weeks went to see physio therapist as my hand was not limbering up, she gave me exercises to do and it is slowly improving. Im now in 4th week and can use it moderately. I still cant turn a doorknob or grip a steering wheel or open jars or carry things. Hand is still slightly swollen, fingertips are numb and progress is really slow. I return to work next week - computer cad work and dont know how I will manage. Needless to say i am realy gun shy about getting my left hand done now and am seeking alterative treatments. Has anyone tried the CTRAC traction device???
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replied February 23rd, 2010
Community Volunteer
My advice would be to "Continue to be gun shy until you are completely satisfied with your first surgery"....Once it is done, it is done....Take care...

Caroline
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replied February 24th, 2010
carpal tunnel operation
iv had cts and after 4 weeks still cant grip with mine and has left me with about a 2inch scar across the palm of my hand. still really pain full especially around the thumb area couldnt use my right hand untill my stitches were out but i dont think i will have my left hand done as iv had a bad experience with my right hand
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