Worried about carpal tunnel surgery recovery?
I’m Dr. Maik Zannakis (my patients call me “Dr. Z”) and I invented the Carpal Rx 12 years ago to help my wife. Neither of us wanted to deal with carpal tunnel surgery recovery – as a neurologist: I know that surgery fails in about half of patients.
If you’re scheduled for surgery, call my office and select option 1 to speak with me. There’s a 97% probability you don’t need it. Curious? Read the clinical study proving the Carpal Rx cures symptoms in 97% of patients.
Read on for recovery information. If you don’t find the answer to your question, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I’m always “in” for hand pain sufferers.
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About carpal tunnel surgery recovery
There’s a number of factors to keep in mind pertaining to your carpal tunnel surgery recovery. But we’ll start with my empathy for you! I’ve been working with patients for 15 years and I fully understand your pain. It takes a lot of sleepless nights and miserable days to drive a person to the point of undergoing the knife.
If you haven’t already, you’ll talk about the details with your surgery doctor. You’ll also go over what happens during the recovery period. The recovery period time includes how much time is needed to restore your hand. Carpal tunnel surgery recovery time can be long and painful. So read on to get the facts that’ll make this period easier for you.
Most patients resort to surgery to escape the pain, numbness and tingling. These symptoms are commonly called “carpal tunnel thumb.” People who do a lot of keyboarding also call it “carpal tunnel keyboard.” Others call it “carpal tunnel mouse.”
Regardless, the symptoms are real and intense enough for you to take this step.
The need for carpal tunnel surgery
Before you think about carpal surgery recovery you have to ask why you need it. More than likely, it’s because non-surgical options failed. Your doctor did a carpal tunnel syndrome test (also just called a “carpal tunnel test”). That test was necessary to show you have this condition. The doctor orders surgery when it’s confirmed.
You’ll probably have “open carpal tunnel release surgery.” But you may have “endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery.” It all depends on your doctor. Open surgery requires a 2-3 inch cut on your palm. The incision exposes the tissues inside the wrist. Endoscopic surgery uses a tube pushed into the wrist. Both aim to cut the tissue between the wrist bones. After the tissue’s severed, the wrist joint snaps open and relieves pressure on the nerve.
After surgery, you’re wheeled to the post-op or recovery room. Now starts your official carpal tunnel surgery recovery! I love roaming the recovery room after carpal tunnel surgery. Everyone is smiling and giddy with relief compared with uptight and nervous like you probably are now.
You can’t rush it. Your typical healing time, rehab, and general health are key factors. Together they determine how long the carpal tunnel surgery recovery time takes.
Carpal tunnel surgery recovery timeline:
Short term carpal tunnel surgery recovery:
Many patients get immediate pain relief right after surgery. Nonetheless, it’s possible to get no relief and in some instances – symptoms actually worsen. Why? It’s complicated, but the truth is many patients are misdiagnosed. Turns out something else is going on instead of carpal tunnel. Also, when endoscopic surgery is used, chances go up that your surgeon accidentally severs the wrong tissue.
But don’t worry if you do hurt right after surgery. It’s common to feel post-operative pain on the scar and also deep inside the wrist. Both these kinds of pain can last up to several months. If pain is due to a mistake instead of “normal” healing – it can take months before you find out.
So it’s really important to ask your surgeon the tough questions.
Long term carpal tunnel surgery recovery:
During the carpal tunnel surgery recovery period, rehab and hand exercises are vital. Following a strict therapy schedule better insures you get 100% of your hand function back. However; even after dedicated rehab, about half of patients aren’t happy with their results by 2 years. The outcome is better with endoscopic surgery; about 70% are satisfied by 2 years. About half of unsatisfied patients decide on another (“revision”) carpal tunnel syndrome surgery.
Carpal tunnel surgery recovery and failure:
In some patients, the carpal tunnel surgery recovery period will seem endless. That’s because their hand can feel tender or painful and weak for over a year. A smaller number of patients never have relief. And in many of those patients, the symptoms worsen. Doctors call this a failure and may want to do a second surgery.
Another operation after carpal tunnel surgery recovery:
If you didn’t get relief during the carpal tunnel surgery recovery period, then a 2nd operation probably won’t help.That’s according to the National Institutes of Health. They say if the first surgery failed, you only have a 10% chance of seeing good results.
Did you try non-surgical options for carpal tunnel?
Braces (not only during carpal tunnel surgery recovery time):
You must wear a hand brace during the carpal tunnel surgery recovery time period. Even if you you didn’t have surgery, symptoms are successfully treated using a good brace. You must wear the brace at night to keep the wrist from bending too much. Too much bending while you sleep increases the stress inside the joint.
However, never wear a hand brace during the day if you have carpal tunnel syndrome! Yes, this is contrary to popular belief. But in reality, wearing a brace while working will only make your hand fight the brace. That puts undue stress on the joint, making the carpal tunnel syndrome even worse.
Maybe you tried steroid shots into your wrist. These steroid injections for carpal tunnel syndrome will reduce swelling inside the wrist joint. But only a third of patients see long term relief. The others have relief for 3-6 months until symptoms return. Also, you should consider the side effects of steroid shots. They can be serious and include nerve or kidney damage and weight gain.
Myofascial release massage:
Finally, have myofascial release massage to stop symptoms. Massage and physical therapists use this remedy for carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s very effective. When used daily for at least 4 weeks it will completely get rid of symptoms. But seeing a therapist every day for a month is costly.
The non-surgical remedy that works
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, a therapist’s myofascial release massage therapy is proven to permanently get rid of symptoms. I invented the Carpal Rx which gives you this identical therapy. This device works the same way a therapists fingers do. And the science behind it is solid – and proven to work. Now you can cure symptoms in your own home by performing this same therapy yourself, every day until symptoms are gone