Pain and Other Complications of Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Pain and Other Complications of Carpal Tunnel Surgery

How long does pain last after carpal tunnel surgery?

What is normal pain after carpal tunnel surgery?

Why does my hand still hurt after carpal tunnel surgery?

Pain and Other Complications of Carpal Tunnel Surgery

 Pain in the area of the incision is especially common after traditional open surgery, rather than endoscopic carpal tunnel release. There two types of pain that occur in the palm of the hand after carpal tunnel surgery: incisional pain and pillar pain.

Incisional pain occurs directly at the site of the incision. Pain directly at the incision is typically only present for days or weeks after the surgery. Protecting the incision can help alleviate pain, and it's important to avoid lifting or gripping for several weeks after carpal tunnel surgery.

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Pillar pain is the pain experienced to the sides of the incision in the thicker parts of the palm, called the thenar and hypothenar eminence. Pain in these regions is where the attachments of the transverse ligament to the carpal bones (forming the carpal tunnel) are located. In addition, the muscles of the palm of the hand are located here. Pillar pain is the more common and troublesome complication of carpal tunnel surgery and may take several months to resolve.

Treatments for pillar pain may include rest, massage, and hand therapy. Additional surgery is generally ineffective for treatment of pillar pain.

Forearm pain

The median nerve runs from your forearm through the carpal tunnel and into your hand. It controls the sensations you feel on the palm side of your thumb and fingers, except the little finger. At three months following carpal tunnel surgery, your numbness and pain still could be byproducts of the procedure.

Swelling pain

When this part of the body is injured or tight, swelling of the tissues within the tunnel can press on the median nerve. This causes numbness and tingling of the hand, pain, and loss of function if not treated. Symptoms usually start slowly, and may get worse over time.

Numbness after carpal tunnel surgery

At three months following carpal tunnel surgery, your numbness and pain still could be byproducts of the procedure. Many people find the incision causes pain and irritation as it heals. In addition, a condition called 'pillar pain,' which is a localized reaction to the surgery, can lead to discomfort.

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How long does pain last after carpal tunnel surgery?

After surgery, the hand is wrapped. The stitches are removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. Try to avoid heavy use of your hand for up to 3 months. The recovery from carpal tunnel surgery takes time anywhere from several weeks to several months. If the nerve has been compressed for a long period of time, recovery may take even longer. Recovery involves splinting your wrist and getting physical therapy to strengthen and heal the wrist and hand.

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What is normal pain after carpal tunnel surgery?

The stitches are removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery Paresthesias and scar tenderness are common in the subacute recovery phase following carpal tunnel release. A flare or aggravation of symptoms is common in the period of two to six weeks after surgery.

Why does my hand still hurt after carpal tunnel surgery?

At three months following carpal tunnel surgery, your numbness and pain still could be byproducts of the procedure. Many people find the incision causes pain and irritation as it heals. In addition, a condition called 'pillar pain,' which is a localized reaction to the surgery, can lead to discomfort. Pillar pain is the more common and troublesome complication of carpal tunnel surgery and may take several months to resolve. Treatments for pillar pain may include rest, massage, and hand therapy. Additional surgery is generally ineffective for treatment of pillar pain.

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10 common question about carpal tunnel surgery pain

1How long does it take to recover from carpal tunnel surgery?
It usually takes 3 to 4 months to recover and up to 1 year before hand strength returns. How much hand strength returns will vary. The timing of your return to work depends on the type of surgery you had, whether the surgery was on your dominant hand (the hand you use most), and your work activities.
2Is carpal tunnel surgery recovery painful?
The recovery from carpal tunnel surgery takes time – anywhere from several weeks to several months. If the nerve has been compressed for a long period of time, recovery may take even longer. Recovery involves splinting your wrist and getting physical therapy to strengthen and heal the wrist and hand.
3What are the side effects of having carpal tunnel surgery?
Side-effects of carpal tunnel release surgery pain and discomfort along the cut on your hand. stiffness in your hand. swelling – keeping your hand up should help to reduce this. a noticeable scar that will gradually fade. your scar feeling tender after the operation - this usually settles down within a few months. More items...
4Can you get nerve damage from carpal tunnel surgery?
New postoperative symptoms are often iatrogenic, associated with damage to branches of the median nerve, most commonly the palmar cutaneous branch, leading to painful neuroma formation, a painful scar or altered sensibility. Injury to the ulnar nerve is a less common complication of carpal tunnel decompression.
5Will I have to wear a sling after carpal tunnel surgery?
After surgery Following carpal tunnel release surgery, your hand will remain in a bandage for a couple of days and you may need to wear a sling. You should keep your hand raised for 48 hours to help reduce any swelling and stiffness in your fingers.
6Are you awake for carpal tunnel surgery?
First, you'll get local anesthesia -- drugs to numb your hand and wrist. You may also get medicine to help keep you calm. (General anesthesia, which means you will not be awake during surgery, is not common for carpal tunnel syndrome). ... American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, OrthInfo: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”
7How long after carpal tunnel surgery can I use my hand?
Once your sutures are removed, you can increase activities as tolerated but avoid heavy repetitive activities for 4 weeks after surgery. Most patients who have carpal tunnel release regain full use of their hand, with full motion and return of strength within about 4 weeks after their surgery.
8Why is carpal tunnel worse at night?
Carpal tunnel symptoms are often worse at night. Lying down and moving very little can lead to the accumulation of fluid in the arm and hand, which puts additional pressure on the median nerve
9Should I wear a wrist brace after carpal tunnel surgery?
One to two weeks of splinting have been recommended following endoscopic carpal tunnel release5,9 and one to three weeks following open carpal tunnel release10. A survey of American hand surgeons found that 81% of them splinted their patients' wrists for two to four weeks following carpal tunnel surgery7.
10Can carpal tunnel make your whole arm hurt?
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes a tingling feeling or pins and needles, numbness, and sometimes pain in the hand. The symptoms can sometimes be felt in the forearm or further up your arm. ... You may also have an ache running up your arm to the shoulder or neck. It can affect just one or both hands.

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