As common as carpal tunnel surgery is, it also requires certain care that you need to consider after the operation is done. Be prepared to feel your hand numb and deal with some mild pain as soon as you get in the postoperative care.
This type of discomfort can last as little as a few days and as long as several months. The time is specific to each individual according to their capacity to recover and the severity of the carpal tunnel surgery.
If you have a split, you will be wearing it for two weeks post operation and your doctor will give you precise indication regarding when to take the bondage off safely. This is important in order to avoid potential complications so follow your doctor’s indications in the matter. Your stitches will also be taken out after one of maximum two weeks.
In the first 3 to 4 months, all the pain in your hand should disappear and your body will start focusing on rebuilding the strength. However, be prepared to not regain all your strength back in the first year and even beyond this time. The amount of strength that you get back is particular to each patient. Some recover faster while other take more months to get to where they have their hand functional again.
As eager as you might be to return to your regular job, the possibility of this happening will also vary. If you had your surgery on your dominant hand you might be able to get back to work in a couple of months.
However, if your surgery was on the hand that you don’t use so much, you could be back at work as fast as two weeks post operation. It also depends on how many repeating activities your job requires like typing for instance. If this is one of your tasks, it might delay your time to return to your career.
The type of surgery is also very important and it can impact the way you recover from it differently as well. Typically, endoscopic surgeries heal faster than open surgeries. If you had an endoscopic intervention you might be able to get back to your regular life in a matter of days.
When you get home after the surgery it is important to rest as much as possible because proper sleep increases the recovery process. Walk as much as you can on a daily basis in order to keep your body active and your blood circulating properly.
It is important to not lift heavy objects for at least 2 weeks post operation as this will only force your hand more than you should. Don’t lift anything heavier than 1 kilogram and stay away from repetitive activities such as typing for this period of time. You will be able to get back at doing these things step by step as your hand recovers.
As far as personal hygiene goes, your doctor will give you the green line to shower 24 or 48 hours after the surgery, depending on your personal condition. And last but not least, you shouldn’t risk driving until your hang is fully recovered.
If you don’t get full function back as soon as you expect, talk to your doctor before you get to driving, no matter how secure you feel on your strength.
By following these instructions, you should recover faster and in a healthier way after a carpal tunnel operation. This is not a severe surgery but it is an important one and should be treated as such!