06 Nov Recovering from Carpal Tunnel Surgery: A Beginners Guide
If you’re reading this article, chances are that you recently underwent carpal tunnel surgery or you are gearing up for yours. You may be wondering what to expect in the weeks and months following carpal tunnel surgery. This blog post will provide a general overview of recovery from carpal tunnel surgery, including information on how much time is typically required for healing and when it’s safe to use your hands again.
The Surgery Itself
The first thing you should know is that carpal tunnel surgery can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of your condition. The entire process usually involves cutting a ligament in the wrist called the transverse carpal ligament, which allows more room for movement in your hand. After carpal tunnel surgery, it’s important to move your hand and wrist frequently in order to improve the range of motion.
The Hospital Stay
Your surgeon will usually recommend staying in the hospital for a few hours. This is because carpal tunnel surgery is often performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home on the same day that it’s completed. However, sometimes doctors prefer to keep patients overnight in case any complications arise or they need additional time to monitor their recovery. This may depend on your general health.
The Recovery Process
What should you expect with carpal tunnel surgery after you head home? After surgery, you’ll be asked to wear a splint or cast for several weeks while the ligament heals. This will make it difficult for you to use your hands normally at first, but there are a couple of approaches that can help with this process:
- You should continue to keep your hand elevated above heart level for several days. This may be difficult at first, but it will help you avoid swelling and pain as well as improve blood flow which speeds up the healing process.
- You’ll probably get tired of using ice packs pretty quickly, but they’re essential in preventing or minimizing any swelling that occurs after surgery.
During the first week after surgery, your doctor will want to see you back in their office so they can monitor how well your hand is healing. You’ll probably need at least one follow-up visit after this as well.
Within two weeks, you should start to have increased mobility, and 4-6 weeks after surgery, you should find that you are able to use your hand as you did before. Just keep in mind that you may feel some soreness for up to two months. If this is intense, we can help you with Chicago pain management.
Recovering from carpal tunnel surgery is a long process but it’s necessary in order to ensure that you don’t have any permanent damage or issues with your hand later on. For more information on what to expect from carpal tunnel surgery and wrist pain treatments, speak with Illinois Pain & Spine Institute. We help people manage carpal tunnel syndrome in Chicago.
For more information on this condition, read: Top Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.