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Jujuhauptman Jujuhauptman

Recovering from Open Carpal tunnel release hand surgery this is day #7

Hi , got my right done on the 12th. today is day #7...haven't used my hand at all. It's my right that got worked on...I have been using ice,putting it is sort of stiff.I have been moving my fingers but I feel like I am constantly looking for aftercare instructions. Because what I find is that every one have different advice from their doctors. My doctor told me what to but in bit by bit so I am very unsure. Like do I really not use my hand at all for 12 days until I get the stitches out? And can I go out and walk. it far enough away from the surgery for me to be be able to go back to walking? ..I went out for a walk on day#5 and got dizzy. ..that's why I am wondering. .being really carful with my hand. .I hope I am doing everything right! ! I have it really bad...8 years now..have to get the other hand done too!!

40 Replies

  • emma61185 emma61185 Jujuhauptman

    Hi. I had mine done 16 days ago. Had my dominant hand done. Elevated it 3 days straight as advised and just moved fingers as much as I could....again as advised. Day 5 I took bandage off and just changed dressing and left bandage off, again as advised. When out I wore it in a sling as it would throb.Kept it totally dry until day 10 when I had stitches out. At this point it was still swollen and they actually had to cut into my scar to remove them. But I have been driving 2 days without issue. Can hoover, style my hair, care for my children etc. I cant unscrew things but I can push doors open. I've massaged scar this past week with bio oil and although a tad puffy I can touch scar without pain. The issues I had have ceased and I'm thrilled with my recovery. I was told to use it every day as much as I can. I was given an exercise sheet when I left after my op. I have had serious surgery several times before and was told to get active after every one. If it hurts stop if not fine. But if you've been told different I would follow it. I was also offered physio on day 10 attended on day 13 they checked my range of motion said I had a textbook recovery of someone who followed orders. I am happy to be getting my other hand done. Good luck.

    • emma61185 emma61185 Jujuhauptman

      Hi. Everyone is different. I know 2 people who've had the same op in recent years both had stories like mine in recovery terms. Day 4 I started using a stress ball, would turn a page, hold a pencil write one word slowly, held a teaspoon when I made a cuppa nothing major but didn't NOT use it if able. I guess day 11 was the day 1 day after my stitches were removed it felt 10x better. I cleaned the house like normal that day. I'm not saying I'm pain free. Yesterday it ached come the evening so I elevated it. Depends, my scar is only an inch and a half and falls in a comfortable spot. It was tender but I still massaged it day 10 onwards. The tissue around it is hard my palm feels a bit puffier but I was told my palm could thicken a little and stay forever, my friends did. I have moments when it hurts and I stop and my fingers can feel tight but 5 minutes later its normal again. If you're really not sure can you ring someone. I was given the nurses number to ring if I was unsure about anything. Think I received a lot of advice and aftercare but I'm someone who asks a million questions. Good luck. X

  • tammy 20085 tammy 20085 Jujuhauptman

    I had open capal tunnel release on last Thursday. It hurts pretty bad. I keep it elevated day and at night. Dr. Prescribed no medications. Just 800mg motrin. I try and bend my fingers everyday. So they don't get locked up. I have a 2 to 3 inch cut. I notice when I bend my knuckles they feel tight. I hope that some things I've mentioned help.

    • Jujuhauptman Jujuhauptman tammy 20085

      I also feel the stiff fingers..the doctor told me to imagine I have a stress ball I squeezING in my hand as much as possible. I have been doing this. But still my hand is stiff and is somewhat bruised. I was just wondering if I am not supposed to use my hand at all until I get the stitches out? I have been just using my left hand for every thing. ..are you using your hand for anything?

    • Jujuhauptman Jujuhauptman tammy 20085

      Thank you for all your help! ! I hope you feel better. .I didn't know what the recovery was like at all...but that I thought I wouldn't be able to use my hand for a while. But definitely sure now's a long recovery! ! I am assuming you still have your stitches you have to wash them everyday? What kind of soap do you use? I have been using Dial bar soap ,but it's drying out my hand..

    • tammy 20085 tammy 20085 Jujuhauptman

      My dr. Wrapped mine up. He didnt say if I could take it off. Yes i still have 5 stitches. Its wrapped with cause, with a half cast on top then wrapped with ace wrap. I go today for post op appts. I have washed ot or anything..

    • Jujuhauptman Jujuhauptman tammy 20085 did your doctor appointment go? Did you get the stitches out? I guess everyone has different directions about aftercare. I was suppose to leave it alone and use ice, putting it up on a pillow, on day 3..wash it once a day with antibacterial soap..then put a bandage on it and wrap it back up and so once aday. It still aches and hurts half the day. .just comes on out of no where. I have a yellow and purple bruise that's turning colors

    • tammy 20085 tammy 20085 Jujuhauptman

      I missed my appt .I go in the morning at 8:45.I will post how it goes. My 6Yr old son had surgery on his ears Thursday and wasn't feeling well Friday, an he missed school so I had rescheduled it. I can't wait to get stitches out. An go to next step. Have had dressings off all day. I'll keep you posted about tomorrow's appt.

    • Jujuhauptman Jujuhauptman tammy 20085

      Awwwww I am sorry to hear about your son. ..but if he had surgery, must mean he has a lot of ear infections. I will pray for that he feels better. I also have a 6 years and a 8 year ...two boys. My son on the first day of school pushed a Lego toy hand inside his ear...then waited two days to tell me until he b had a 103.5 degree fever. Had to get surgery to remove it. We were nervous. ..but he was perfectly fine..!! My hand was feeling better, well ok for a few days...then about two days ago. .stated feeling stabbing pains in Palm and wrist. I read this is nerves healing...I go back on the 24th to get the stitches out and find out what is next!!!

    • tammy 20085 tammy 20085 Jujuhauptman

      Oh my, a toy in his ear. My son had impacted ear wax that wouldn't come out in the SCENT office. He did good. Dr told us to continue to put sweet oil in his ears twice a week. We went today and had my stitches taken out. It hurt some. Wrote a script for a stabilizer forearm splint. To wear 24 hrs a day for 2weeks. Take off only to shower . oh they also glued down 6 steri strips. Wash around it, an not to scrub area that was cut. Didn't order therapy. Just to bend my fingers an exercise them with splint on. An no lifting anything with hand, said it may take up to 6months for recovery or longer.

  • jennifer70602 jennifer70602 Jujuhauptman

    I had open carpel tunnel release surgery Feb 10th on both hands plus trigger finger release surgery on one thumb. I returned to work 2 days after my surgery, I think the fact that I used my hands immediately helped with my recovery. I just had my stitches out this week, the 22nd. Seems everyone is different in their recovery. Good luck.

    • emma61185 emma61185 jennifer70602

      Im the same op Feb 2nd. Used hand a.s.a.p. My palm has thickened and can be a tad tender if I lean on it. Had a few random pains but to be expected. Think it depends, have a friend who has just had it at different hospital and she was told to rest for 6 weeks. This used to be the norm so I guess it depends on your surgeons preferred recovery route and obviously how well your incision is healing. I am really happy and pleased with the route I was advised. I thought as my CT was really bad it would mean longer recovery but certainly not the case for me. Good luck everyone. 😊

    • tammy 20085 tammy 20085 emma61185

      I'm wondering why my surgeon wants me to wear this forearm splint for two weeks. It really makes my hand hurt worse. I've felt over my incision and it's tender an hard spots where the stitches were. My incision is an inch an a half long. How long was yours? Do you think I should wear this brace for 24hrs a day for 2weeks. I want a good recovery without pt. Help??

    • tammy 20085 tammy 20085 jennifer70602

      Hi Jennifer, just came across your post. How long was you ctr decompression incision? Would you know why my dr wants me to wear a forearm splint for 2wks , 24hrs a day except for shower, dry incision area an then keep a bandaid on it? I feel if I start using it right away I'd recover faster. He wants it mobilized. Ct was really bad on left hand.

    • emma61185 emma61185 tammy 20085

      Hi. I cant advise what you should do. My incision was just under 2 inches and stopped at the very edge of my didnt go up my wrist at all. I also had a trigger finger release done. My CT was very bad and surgery was on my dominant hand. I refuse to have the other done until am back to 100% on the first. My surgery out an immediate stop to my symptoms. I was told to do as much with my hand as I could. To be fair I probably over done it a few times as I have a high pain thresh hold generally. What was the explanation you were given for wearing the splints?

    • jennifer70602 jennifer70602 tammy 20085

      I'm not sure, maybe it has to do with how he does the ctr procedure? My incisions are a lititle over an inch, almost inch and a half, I have 3 due to trigger finger release procedure as well. My ct was classified as severe in both hands based on my nerve conduction study and I've suffered from it for 7 years. My biggest problem is the incisions itching.

    • emma61185 emma61185 tammy 20085

      Probably is just how your surgeon does things and knows it works for his patients. I do catch my palm due to the peeling skin around my incision and it hurts. If when using a fork and it presses my palm it really hurts but its still 3 and a half wks from surgery so think thats fine. I use it normally hoover, cleaned my windows etc. Driving is ok but i live in the sticks and too many bendy roads makes my wrist ache after a while so not back to long journeys yet. (School run is 20miles so thats enough for now) my scar is firm with a thicken around it but i can touch it no problem, im massaging bio oil into it and still have one little scab...this is from the incision they made to remove some stubborn stitches. I guess you better follow the rules given to you but i personally would take it off when i was at rest just for some relief but def wear it at night. X

    • tammy 20085 tammy 20085 emma61185

      I'll wear it at night. Mine is peeling too. Looks weird. Had mine done this month on the 11th. Not much strength in it yet. Hurts bad when I accidentally bend fingers an make fist, or any rotation. Wonder how long till it finally stop aching. My incision is numb. Can't feel it. Fingers feel better. I can tell if water is to hot or not. Numbness. Going asleep. Some ppl say it could take months to heal. My thumb bone hurts. How odd. Hope u get to feeling better soon to.

  • sandy90200 sandy90200 Jujuhauptman

    I had carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel (elbow) release surgery on 2/8/15. Stitches removed 12/17/15. Healed well except for the fact that I've had to shovel and carry in firewood.Impossible to do one- handed- also recent widow. I do get sharp pains down through palm when I abuse it. Plan on having dominant hand done in spring

  • craig4373 craig4373 Jujuhauptman

    Hi Guys, I go in on the 26th for my right hand to be done, Can anyone tell me what its like and give me any advise. Im terrified if im honest.


    • emma61185 emma61185 craig4373

      Hi. Im right handed and had the op in said hand in Feb. Im not sqeamish but if you are having the numbing injection is the worst part so please dont worry. My instructions were elevate and do not use arm for 3 days, then light movement/use then day 10 stitches out and start using it. If it hurts stop but otherwise get going and massage massage massage. I found doing hard massage using my left hand hard so had physio....thier massage bloody hurt but after it always felt looser and supple. I was back to driving and normal duties by 2 weeks. Scar is now so faded you cant even tell. I also had trigger finger and my thumb done. But i will be honest and say i got no special pain relief and on the first night once the ansthetic wore off it really did hurt but I took best meds i had and went to sleep with it up on a pillow and by morning it was fine. Im now waiting on a date for my left hand. Good luck....ask questions about recovery so you know what to do for you as everyone is different.

    • emma61185 emma61185 craig4373

      I was back driving, lifting bags etc by 2 weeks. I took it easy but i was told to use my hand as much as possible. I rubbed oil into my scar twice a day...i was told the lump you feel is the scar tissue you have to loosen this as much as possible by massaging if you dont it can result in having to repeat surgery as it restricts movememt. I had days of odd sensations or shooting pain but nothing major. I have 3 young children and after 2 weeks was running round after them like usual. 4 months after the op i went tenpin problem. People kept telling me to rest but i was told if it doesnt hurt keep using it. Incidently as soon as my ansethetic wore off I could feel the difference in my whole hand and arm so knew it had worked and ive had no numbness throbbing since. I can occasional catch the scar like if using a screedriver but honestly it was the best decision i made.

    • craig4373 craig4373 emma61185

      Again many thanks for that information Emma, I know a few lads who have had it done and they say the same thing that its the best thing they have had done. I think what is freaking me out is the fact that I have never been to hospital before for surgery

    • emma61185 emma61185 craig4373

      I was in the hospital and back in the car within about an hour. I have had surgery before but like i said the injection is the worse bit...then just look away...the nurse will chat to you literally hold your hand. Chap I was with got really worked up..theyve seen it all before and were great with him. You will be fine.

    • Scooterskydives Scooterskydives craig4373

      Hey craig I just had bilateral open carpal tunnel release. Definitely needed help with food and light stuff for the first 2 days, I had No problem in the bathroom dept by myself. but you shouldn't do anything anyways. After bandages came off doctor said no splints even at night. I started driving again after one week although it was tough, make sure you can open door, fasten and unfastened seat belt and no pain meds. I returned to light duties after one week. I probably will wear a splint today at work just to remind not to move around so much but again, the doctor said no splint. I feel pretty amazing.. I took good care of my health before hand, quit smoking, drinking, ate real healthy, bone broth is great..

      I was worried before not knowing what to expect but my doctor did an amazing job and my doctor himself even had the surgery 1 year prior to me so he speaks from experience... good luck with your recovery

  • cpas cpas Jujuhauptman

    OK. day of surgery, started flexing fingers and wrist. Continued with pain meds for 2 days, icing every 2 hours and doing finger flexations. Today is day 6, rewrapped hand twice, keeping it clean; incision is about 2 inches long. Doing everything that does not hurt. Minor pain, no pain meds. Toughen up!  Anesthesia wears off in a few days; push the water and exercise. Driving, cooking, living life.   

  • patty81596 patty81596 Jujuhauptman

    Hi I have just found this group, my husband is schedule for this surgery the 5th of January!  I was wondering how soon he will be able to do things and if he will need prescription pain pills?  We are going to a ballroom dance competition in February which the dr said he will be fine for, but my husband didn't ask him how soon we will be able to practice!  It is not his dominate hand but it is his left hand for dance hold!  Just curious what people think?  thanks!

  • janneyh janneyh Jujuhauptman

    Hello. I'm now 9 days post op having had open carpal Tunnel release on my right hand.

    I was told to start moving my fingers (making a light fist then straightening my fingers) 10 times every half hour starting straight after the surgery and to elevate my hand for the first 2-3 days. During surgery I got to see inside my hand and move my fingers so I could see how it all worked inside and appreciate why I needed to move it.

    My hand was then put in a fairly heavy padded bandage with a dressing over the wound straight after surgery and I was told to remove the bandage on day 3 and change the dressing. I was told I could then leave the bandage off if I wanted.

    I did exactly as I was told.

    I stayed at home the day following surgery but then started walking 2-3 miles each day since.

    Ive left the bandage off when sitting still or just walking about the house but put a light bandage on when out and about or when busying around the house. Ive done this mainly to remind myself to be careful and avoid knocks (I'm very clumsy).

    Today was the first day I've been out walking with only the dressing on and no bandage.

    I've put the bandage on in bed- again to remind myself to be careful and avoid knocking it in my sleep.

    Spoke to my car insurance company and they say I can drive when my Doc says I can. I haven't driven yet as I don't think I'm safe to do so yet. I reckon another week or so.

    So .. how is the hand now? Well.. the horrible numbness & tingling in my hand & fingers and the excruciating pain in my hand & arm disappeared straight after surgery. The hand was very stiff and sore for the first few days so I kept myself topped up with painkillers so I could move the fingers as I'd been told to do. Since then I've stopped taking pain killers as it's sore but not so much that I need pain relief.

    I can now make a good fist, Straighten my fingers well and flex & extend my wrist well. It hurts a bit and I'm careful not to push it too far (I can feel when enough is enough). Rotating the wrist is a step too far just now. I can use the hand for anything that doesn't put too much pressure on the hand and lift light things with it.

    The wound is tender as you'd expect. The stitches come out tomorrow so then the next step begins.. I'll ask the specialist nurse at the hand what to do when she takes the stitches out.

    I'm seeing my GP the day after and I'll get his advice on driving.

    I have 2 very hands on jobs (physio Rehab support worker and Auxilliary Nurse) so I've been told I'll need 6 weeks off work by my bosses and colleagues ( they should know 🙂wink Again I'll discuss with my Doc at my appointment.

    So far i feel my recovery is going well.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    I'll update after my stitches are out and I've spoken to my GP

  • jokabug jokabug Jujuhauptman

    Ive had cts for over 20 years. Had surgery last year May, 2017. After sugery, the humbness disappeared, that night. So I am an armwrestler and grip is very important to this sport. So I went to therapy. Surgery kills your grip. I lost at least 90+% strength in my surgery hand. But I worked at it and took up this new sport that attacked the grip directly. Called gripsports. In this sport you work you finger and hand strength to extremes. In the 4 months of traijing in this grip sport, Ive recovered about 40% of my strength. Mind you, after surgery I couldnt even open a peanut butter jar. I had alkost no grip strength. Now, after working at it several times a week, my grip strength is at a point where I exceed the normal grip for a 60 year old and have rhe same grip strength of a 20 year old. So, i was told by my therapist that it takes at least a year before full recovery takes place, the pinkie and ring finger being the last. I notice a steady, but slow, improvement of my grip. I believe you can recover all strength in your grip after carpel tunnel surgery and even exceed your precious power in your hand. But it will take hard work and determination and a mental approach in which you put all failure out of your mind. The body is an amazing organism capable of rebuilding tissues and compensating for other shortcomings. The key, I know, is to work hard and never say I cant. I plan to build the strength in my hand to levels that exceed what strength I had previous to CTS.

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