Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a progressive condition in which there is excessive pressure on the median nerve – one of the three major nerves of the hand. CTS causes pain, numbness, weakness as well as shock-like and tingling sensations, which can render a person unable to perform even simple day-to-day tasks, such as those that involve gripping.
If you have an intractable case of carpal tunnel syndrome, your hand surgeon may recommend carpal tunnel release, a procedure in which they will cut through the transverse carpal ligament that is pressing down on your carpal tunnel, thereby making more room for the median nerve. This consequently addresses the pain and restores your hand function.
Read on to learn about what recovery from carpal tunnel release entails.
After your surgery, before your hand surgeon sends you home, they will provide you with post-operative instructions to ensure you heal properly and to minimize your risk of complications.
Outlined below are some of the instructions your doctor may give you:
- Elevation – Keep your arm elevated above your heart for the first several days to reduce swelling at the surgery site.
- Ice Therapy – Apply an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel to help reduce swelling and pain.
- Wound Care – Check your incision for signs of infection, but avoid touching it.
- Medications – Take your medications as prescribed.
Splint/Wrist Brace – In order to restrict the wrist from moving and compromising the surgical wound, you will be required to wear a splint or wrist brace for one to two weeks after surgery. Do not remove it without your doctor’s approval.
Movement – Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on movement restrictions, which likely include not holding or lifting anything with the operated hand for several weeks. After that, you will need to refrain from lifting anything heavier than a few pounds. However, you should still move your fingers several times a day to prevent stiffness.
As soon as your stitches are removed, your orthopedic doctor will likely recommend that you undergo physical therapy.
Your physical therapist may use a combination of assisted stretching and strength-building exercises and other therapeutic modalities, such as heat and cold therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound therapy, etc.— aimed at alleviating postoperative pain and inflammation as well as helping you gradually regain the normal function of your hand.
When to Call Your Hand Surgeon
If you notice any of the following after your surgery, contact your doctor right away:
- Redness or swelling at the surgical incision
- Purulent drainage or bleeding
- Increasing levels of pain
Carpal Tunnel Release in Clinton Township, MI
At Movement Orthopedics in Clinton Township, Dr. Troy Williams, our board-certified hand surgeon, has performed numerous successful carpal tunnel release surgeries, helping countless patients in Clinton Township and all of its neighboring places regain the normal function of their hands. What’s more, we do have licensed physical therapists on staff who are just as highly committed to delivering unparalleled patient outcomes.
To see Dr. Williams, give us a call today at (586) 436-3785 or fill out our secure form, and our staff will contact you as soon as possible to schedule your appointment. We look forward to helping you!