Pain from carpal tunnel & trigger finger release surgery

hi there!

my name is nikki, i live in northern California, and i was dx with t2 on diabetes day in 2008.

i had the surgery on Wednesday and today's pain is the worse so far. since more pwd develop these conditions than not i was hoping other folks who had one or both procedures done could tell me when the pain started to lessen.

my left hand (which is the dominant hand) was operated on i am typing with my right hand.



I have had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) for more than a decade. Given my profession, I have spent decades typing and I'm sure that didn't help, but I blame my diabetes mostly. CTS and trigger finger are very common with those of us with diabetes. I've read that perhaps it is the thickening of the tendons that occurs or the loss of microvascular circulation, either way I can sympathize with the CTS. I was initially able to manage with physical therapy and regular exercise, but eventually it got really bad. It got to the point that I had trouble sleeping. I eventually had surgery (endoscopic). The pain of the surgery and recovery was nothing compared to the pain of the CTS. I found that there were three levels of recovery, there was some immediate return of feeling in my fingers within days (I actually had lost total feeling in two fingers). Then over a period of 1-4 weeks I was able to restore basically all my pre-surgery function, including lifting weights in the gym. And then over a period of a year or longer I am having some final recovery as hopefully I regain some of the seemingly permanent damage as my nerves regrow a bit (I still have feeling loss in one finger).

Hope that helps.

thank you, brian. I guess my pain tolerance is low, because starting yesterday it is driving me to distraction.
I have partial numbness in three fingertips and my thumbtip; hoping i'll get that back.

They gave me pain medication for the first few days after surgery. Did you get anything?

Hi Shire,
I'm sorry about the pain I have had both CTS surgery on both sides and also Trigger Finger Release surgery for all digits but the thumbs. I did not however have the surgery done at the same time. And I also had the TFR done by a different surgeon than the CTS. From what I can recall the CTS surgery recovery was far easier and the pain did not last very long at all probably not more than a week and the relief of symptoms was immediately noticible. In fact since the first side went so smoothly and easily I had the second one done less than a month later. The TFR recovery took longer at least a couple of weeks but the pain wasn't extreme or more than I could handle.

sorry, brian, I missed your reply. yes, they gave me Norco. 1 every 3 hours for moderate pain or 2 every 4 hours for severe pain. well, starting at 4:30 am yesterday when the pain woke me up I switched to the 2 pill dosage, then decided on doing it 24/7. Once the pain decreases I'll tirate down the Norco.

My trigger finger surgery, on my dominate hand lasted about a week. Now it hurts occasionally, but my guess is that if you keep the pain meds light, enough to take the edge off up too the amount prescribed, the meds will start decreasing Sunday or Monday. But do not over prescribe lest you run the risk of over medicating and being afraid to let off the meds. A little pain (in moderation) is a good thing I think.

thanks for the advice, rick. I've lived with different types of chronic pain for decades, so I should be able to handle this.
you say that your trigger finger hurts occasionally; how long ago was the surgery?

7 months due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Well that and playing shoot em up when I was 8. LOL I do hope you are feeling better today, Sunday.


My hand and wrist were very swollen and I thought why did I have this surgery??

Eventually all was well, but I did have to go through therapy to help progress things along (never had therapy presurgery).

The thing that worked the best for my recovery was Kinesio Taping

Could you explain how kt taping was used? I use it for other things but know it is used in pt but do not know how.

Kinesio taping is used for many body parts for inflammation/pain issues.

My hand and wrist were very swollen after the surgery and after many OT sessions, the therapist tried this tape and it relieved a lot of my swelling and pain. It kind of massages the soft tissue and nerves. I ended up buying my own tape and applying but it was applied best by the therapist.

The first link is what I found tonight, the second link is a good link for technique used for the wrist.