Carpal tunnel surgery Side effects

Carpal tunnel surgery Side effects

What are the risks of carpal tunnel surgery?

What can you not do after carpal tunnel surgery?
What is the success rate of the carpal tunnel surgery?
Complications of carpal tunnel release surgery
What are the risks of carpal tunnel surgery?

Most people who have carpal tunnel surgery find that their symptoms get cured and don’t come back. If you have a very severe case, surgery can still help, but you may still feel numbness, tingling, or pain from time to time. Side-effects are the unwanted, but often mild and temporary problems you may expect to happen as a result of surgery.

 

Risks come with any operation. For both types of carpal tunnel release surgery, they include:

  • Bleeding
  • Damage to your median nerve or nearby nerves and blood vessels
  • Infection of your wound
  • A scar that hurts to touch

 

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Specific Risks of Carpal Tunnel Surgery:

  • Permanent loss of grip strength is common with Carpal Tunnel Surgery.
  • Permanent Tenderness at the point of incision is also common.
  • Some people experience permanent loss of Hand Dexterity and Fine Motor Skills.
  • Extended rehab periods are common. Rehabilitation runs from six weeks to over a year for some patients to regain functionality of their hands and wrists.
  • Scar Tissue Development which can increase pressure on the nerve and make CTS worse after surgery than it was before.
  • Permanent Nerve Damage can occur if the scalpel touches the Median Nerve which runs just under the Transverse Carpal Ligament, causing permanent nerve damage. Damage to the tendons, muscles and other soft tissue that run just under the Transverse Carpal Ligament.
  • Palmar Cutaneous Neuromas is one of the most common complications found in a 12 year study at the University of Michigan Medical School.  This is a benign growth that appears on the Median Nerve post-surgery.  When touched or any pressure is applied it radiates electric like sensations and burning pain sensation including numbness and tingling, but this time it is not coming from pressure on the Median Nerve in the Carpal Tunnel – it radiates from the benign growth on the nerve.
  • Dysesthesias from Multiple Release Operations
  • Stiffness of hand and wrist joint
  • Loss of Range of Motion in wrist and with thumb
  • Failure to relieve Symptoms
  • Radial Sensory Neuroma
  • The need for a repeat surgery even after a successful Carpal Tunnel Surgical Procedure, because there is no permanent fix for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  Second surgeries with any surgical procedure carry much more risks and are more complicated to perform due to scar tissue formation and loss of structural strength of the surrounding tissue from the original surgery.

 

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What can you not do after carpal tunnel surgery?

If you had open surgery on your dominant hand and you do repeated actions at work, you may be able to return to work in 6 to 8 weeks. For up to 2 weeks after surgery, avoid lifting things heavier than 0.5 to 1 kilogram and using your hand. This includes doing repeated arm or hand movements, such as typing or using a computer mouse, washing windows, vacuuming, or chopping food. Do not use power tools, and avoid activities that cause vibration.

What is the success rate of the carpal tunnel surgery?

 Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome has a very high success rate of over 90%.

Complications of carpal tunnel release surgery

Complications are unexpected problems that may happen during or after your treatment. As with every procedure, there is a risk of certain complications. This may include the risk of complications linked to having an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic. Outlined below are complications that are more specific to carpal tunnel release surgery. If you are unsure about any of the following complications, ask your surgeon to explain how these may apply to you.

  • A tender and sensitive scar. Your scar may be tender and sensitive for a while after surgery. This is a minor complication and you may find that this sensitivity doesn’t interfere with your day-to-day activities, but for some people, it does.
  • Damage to nerves in your wrist. This may cause pain and numbness, which should eventually disappear.
  • Pain when putting pressure on your hand. This is called pillar pain, and may be caused by a tender, raised scar and swelling at the base of your palm. The pain may affect your grip, but should ease after three to four months.
  • Bowstringing. You may notice that when you flex your wrist after the surgery, your tendons are more visible. This may cause some pain, a snapping sensation when you flex your wrist or pins and needles.
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). This rare condition can cause many symptoms, including swelling, burning pain, sensitivity to touch and changes in skin temperature and colour. Your movement may become more limited. CRPS is usually triggered by surgery or accidental damage and can usually be managed with painkillers and other medicines, as well as physiotherapy and counselling.
  • Re-occurrence. Most people find their symptoms disappear after surgery, but there’s a chance that your symptoms may continue or come back. This may be because your carpal ligament wasn’t cut deeply enough to release the pressure. If this happens, you may need to have more surgery.

 

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10 common question about carpal tunnel surgery side effects

1What 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.
2How 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.
3How long does numbness last after carpal tunnel surgery?
After surgery, the hand is wrapped. The stitches are removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. The pain and numbness may go away right after surgery or may take several months to subside.
4Should I get carpal tunnel surgery?
Most people with carpal tunnel syndrome only consider having surgery if other treatments don't provide enough relief. Surgery can help relieve symptoms or make them go away for good, but it is not without risks
5How painful is 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.
6What can I expect after carpal tunnel surgery and recovery?
What To Expect After Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery Elevate your hand above your heart and move your fingers to reduce swelling and prevent stiffness. Ice the surgical site for a given amount of time, a few times a day. You may need to wear a splint or wrist brace for several weeks.
7Do you have to wear a splint after carpal tunnel surgery?
What happens after carpal tunnel surgery? Your wrist will likely be in a heavy bandage or a splint for 1 to 2 weeks. Doctors usually schedule another appointment to remove the bandage or splint. During this time, you may be encouraged to move your fingers to help prevent stiffness.
8Can you drive a car after carpal tunnel surgery?
You shouldn't usually drive your car until your stitches are removed, which is usually about 10-14 days after surgery. ... Do check with your surgeon about their expectations for your recovery after carpal tunnel syndrome surgery as each case varies.
9Can 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.
10Is it normal to still have numbness after carpal tunnel surgery?
Most people who have carpal tunnel surgery find that their symptoms get cured and don't come back. If you have a very severe case, surgery can still help, but you may still feel numbness, tingling, or pain from time to time.

2 Comments

  1. Donald Schreiber says:

    can the upper arms by affected after surgery? i.e., sore and hurt to move arms and shoulders hurt

    • Iranian Surgery Adviser says:

      Causing damage or pain in upper arm are not mentioned as the risks of carpal tunnel surgery. Follow your doctor activity restrictions and physical therapy program to speed the recovery and avoiding the surgery risks. Your recovery period can take anywhere from a few days to a few months.

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