Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common problem that can be caused by anatomical features, being of female gender, medical conditions and repetitive movements. An individual may experience numbness in the hands and fingers, tingling and weakness in the hands. Surgery to relieve pressure on the median nerve in the wrist is performed to relieve these symptoms. Finding the right hand surgeon or general surgical services in your area is so important. Here are 5 ideas you can implement during your recovery period after carpal tunnel surgery.
1 – Elevation
Health experts recommend elevating the affected hand above the level of the heart after carpal tunnel surgery. The right carpal tunnel surgeon can be so important as experience is valuable. This measure will help to reduce swelling that normally occurs after surgery. Moving your fingers frequently will also help to alleviate stiffness after the procedure. Use a pillow to prop up the hand on a nearby tabletop when you are in a sitting position. A pillow can also be used to prop the arm above heart level when you are lying down.
2 – Limiting Activities
For the first few days after surgery, you should limit all activities that use the affected hand. Changing to the other hand may not be easy, especially if the surgical incision is on your dominant hand. You may need some assistance dressing, grooming and cooking. Patients should avoid lifting with the affected hand for a period of weeks after the carpal tunnel release procedure. Leave the heavier tasks for later in your recovery period.
3 – Soft Tissue Mobilization
Scar tissue that occurs after surgery can cause discomfort and stiffness. Gentle soft tissue manipulation after your incision has healed can help to break down scar tissue and aid both comfort and normal hand and wrist movement. Place a small amount of lotion on the scar and gently massage the area, working the tissue up and down, as well as left to right. This can be done for 3 minutes, 3 times each day for best results.
4 – Physical Therapy & Exercise
Physical therapy is an important factor in your recovery from carpal tunnel surgery. Your therapist at your local physical therapy center will teach you the best methods for strengthening your wrist and hand, without putting undue strain on the affected area. Here’s a great physical therapy practice in Medina OH that will help you return to your normal activities faster. However, physical therapy can sometimes result in discomfort as muscles and tendons strengthen. Your doctor will provide instructions of pain management in the post-surgery and recovery periods.
5 – Gradual Return To Normal Activities
Long-term bracing is not recommended but may be helpful for patients as they begin to resume their everyday activities. Most individuals can begin to add daily tasks after two to three weeks. Don’t take on heavier tasks too quickly. You may have to give a task a try and determine whether you experience discomfort or strain in the affected hand. If you have discomfort, avoid the activity for a short time and continue your physical therapy. You can try the activity again at a later date.
Individuals who are recovering from carpal tunnel surgery often experience some relief of symptoms immediately after surgery. However, the return of full function may take a period of weeks or months after the procedure.