Anyone had carpel tunnel surgery that can tell me what to expect for recovery? I understand it’s more common with diabetes. I’m having both the carpel and cubital (elbow) on my left arm done tomorrow so they have to put me out, which is only a minor concern but just wondering how much pain and recovery time there will be. My kidneys are slightly “weathered” so I try to avoid ibuprofen and NSAIDS, hoping Tylenol will suffice! The doc met with me a couple of weeks ago but he seems like the type who makes everything sound like no big deal…hoping for some honest feedback from those who have gone through it!
Hello! I had one hand done in February and one hand done in on April 15th. I had a trigger finger release done on my thumb on my second hand in April as well.
Due to my diabetes and the structure of my hands I had “open release” rather than endoscopic, so I had 3 stitches in my right hand, and 4 stitches in my left hand (plus 2 for the trigger finger release).
Honestly I had VERY little pain after surgery. By choice, I wasn’t even knocked fully out, just numbed up and mostly sedated while my hand was thoroughly numbed with a local. I remember having a conversation with the surgeon towards the end of my second surgery. The elbow will probably rule that option out though, and also change your recovery quite a bit.
I had the stitches out of each hand within 7 days and, with the use of a cast cover (I highly recommend purchasing a cast cover for bathing purposes, but I love my hot baths!). I was given Tylenol 3 for the pain but only really took it for the first day and a half with the first surgery, about 2 1/2 days with the second. One of the stitches on my second hand was a bit tight so it was pulling painfully if I wasn’t careful with that one.
At discharge I was given some hand exercises and told to start them ASAP, which I did, and I’d regained full strength and range of motion in my hands within a couple of weeks. The scar on my right hand is almost invisible and barely bothers me. The scar on my left hand, done in April, is somewhat thicker/more visible, and is more tender if I put weight on it such as when using a cane or pushing up out of a chair, but becoming less so. I’ve heard it can take up to 6 months for a scar to fully lose its sensitivity, and to be fair I didn’t go through the full course of physical therapy with my second surgery as I’d regained strength so quickly, which meant I wasn’t getting the nifty massage with this metal scraper that the therapist had used on my right hand, so that may or may not have made a difference.
Honestly, in all the carpal tunnel surgery was no big deal at all! My husband and I went out to a sit-down restaurant for breakfast and made a quick stop at the store after surgery before I came home and went to bed. I don’t know how much more recovery issues the cubital tunnel surgery will add though.
Best of luck!
I had carpel tunnel surgery on both hands several years ago, about 2 weeks apart. Similar experience as BeastOfGevaudan.
When I went to have the stitches removed, the PT/nurse was surprised at how well it had already healed, and commented diabetics always healed slower. I told her that was not always true, and my diabetes was well controlled.
I used pain meds for the first few days, then just advil. I use Dexcom, so did not want any tylenol.
They gave me the option of using valium prior to the surgery, and I was awake through the procedure.
My dominant right hand was done 2nd, and in worse shape to start with, so did have a bit more pain and recovery time. Much harder to avoid normal activities like cooking, opening jars, etc once both hands had been done and in recovery. But glad that I did them both around the same time, and all is fine now, 5+ years later.
Thank you both - sounds like it will be fairly straightforward and I am hoping to be typing fairly normally at work by next week. I was pleasantly surprised that the pre-surgery tech who called me was fairly knowledgeable about pumps and we talked about which basal to use to run myself just a little on the high side to avoid any issues. My surgery isn’t until 1pm and I am getting very hungry and crabby! : ) Here goes nothing!
I had my first surgery on my right hand done in 1979. I was awake for that surgery and talked with the surgeon during the surgery. He was a nice guy. Now remember this was in 1979. After the surgery, my fingers looked like fat sausages. I was on a pain pill, can’t remember what kind until the stitches were removed. I was told not to take physical education in college, which I had already signed up for so I had to write a paper. The surgeon told me in 30 years I’d probably need it on the other hand.
In 2008 I had it done in the other hand. The scar in the left hand is shorter. Like the first surgery I talked with the surgeon. My fingers did not look like sausages after the surgery nor the next day. I was not given a pill and told to take over the counter pain meds.
My primary removed my stitches and said everything looked great, she wasn’t surprised because she know how well controlled I was. She said she wished all juvenile onsets/type 1’s took as good care of themselves as I did.