Have you ever feel like your wrist experiences a kind of numbness that is either tingling or painful? That is one sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. The syndrome is much more than a pain in the wrist, though. In this article, we explain what it is and what you should expect after getting carpal tunnel syndrome surgery.
Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The primary nerve in front of your forearm is called the median nerve. It is the nerve that makes up most of the muscles in the front of the forearm. It functions both as a motor and a mixed sensory nerve and has connections to your thumb, index finger, middle finger, wrist flexion, and pronation, to name a few. When this nerve weakens due to an injury or inflammation, that is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
For a long time, experts believe that carpal tunnel syndrome is primarily caused by repetitive motion or overusing of the hand.
Recent studies have shown that there is a high possibility that genetic disposition can also give rise to carpal tunnel syndrome. People with smaller carpal tunnels are more likely to experience carpal tunnel syndrome compared to other people.
Besides genetics reasoning, sustaining injuries like fractures and sprains can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity of the condition. For mild conditions, simple changes in lifestyle, such as avoiding repetitive use of hands, can improve the situation. Using a splint and drinking anti-inflammatory drugs also help do the trick.
The case for severe carpal tunnel syndrome is different. Sometimes, getting surgery is the only fix. During a carpal tunnel surgery, the surgeon will cut open your wrist, and they will widen your carpal tunnel to release all compression happening on the nerve. It is a quick yet effective way to end the repetitive wrist pain.
After Effects of the Surgery: What to Expect
Expect to experience swelling, pain, and stiffness on your wrist during the recovery period. It usually takes time before you feel better and before you get to use your hand the same way again.
Here is an overview of the recovery timeline:
- A week after the surgery, your doctor will finally remove your bandage and stitches. They will tell you what you should avoid doing with your wrist and recommend you to a physical therapist to help you fix your hand motion and stiffness concerns.
- By the second to the fourth week after the surgery, you will feel less pain, and you will be allowed to use your affected hand again. By this time, you can now moisturize your scar, but you still are not allowed to do the heavy lifting.
- By week four to five after the surgery, all your fingers should be functioning well.
- By week six to eight after the surgery, your hand should be able to go back to full activity now. However, expect to feel a bit of numbness in your fingers or soreness on your palm when pressed deeply. These sensations are normal.
Remember that cases and recoveries depend on how much nerve damage you had. If you had a worse condition, you might still experience some limitations on the function and strength of your hand, even a year after the surgery. While recurring carpal tunnel syndrome is uncommon, there is a possibility to experience carpal tunnel syndrome again.
Like other conditions, talking to your doctor immediately when experiencing any pain or numbness in your hand can help you quickly address the situation. Do not wait for your carpal tunnel syndrome to get worse. The sooner you learn about your condition, the easier it will be to correct it.
Are you looking for the best hand and wrist specialist to perform your carpal tunnel syndrome surgery in North Florida? We are the solution you are looking for. Our team can help you ease your hand and wrist discomfort. Contact us today!