Healing time after Carpal Tunnel surgery? - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Healing time after Carpal Tunnel surgery?

On Oct. 10th I had open hand Carpal Tunnel surgery. After 2 months I would have expected the internal swelling to go down and the general weakness to mitigate. There is still cramping in the large muscles at the base of the thumb and outer part of the hand. It hurts to grip the handle of the exercise bike, riding is out of the question. There is a swelling along side of the scar under the skin that is very tender.

To those that have had this type of surgery, is this normal? How long before you felt able to ride? Was there exercises that helped?

I've been back to the doctor 3 times since the surgery and he says all my complaints are a normal part of the healing process.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
On Oct. 10th I had open hand Carpal Tunnel surgery. After 2 months I would have expected the internal swelling to go down and the general weakness to mitigate. There is still cramping in the large muscles at the base of the thumb and outer part of the hand. It hurts to grip the handle of the exercise bike, riding is out of the question. There is a swelling along side of the scar under the skin that is very tender.

To those that have had this type of surgery, is this normal? How long before you felt able to ride? Was there exercises that helped?

I've been back to the doctor 3 times since the surgery and he says all my complaints are a normal part of the healing process.
I had the less invasive arthroscoptic CP surgery 2 years ago. I didn't encounter the swelling and tenderness you mentioned, but it took quite a while for strength and flexibility to return. I also still have twinges, especially when I push myself off the floor with my hand after working on the bike. Overall, it was worth it as the numbness is gone and I can hold the handlebar grip.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 11:11 PM
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You may have an issue. I'd get a 2nd opinion and fairly soon. I know all people/patients/surgeons/surgeries can/are different.
I had the old style (open) surgery done about 20 years ago. I had moderate-to-severe incapacitation on my left hand/wrist. 5 minutes of using keyboard and it took 45+ minutes for the hand to quit hurting and "wake up". Went numb clear to the elbow!
I had the surgery done on a Thursday morning, went home, off Fri, Sat, Sun. Went back to work Monday. No big deal, right? Well, at the time I was a career firefighter (Asst Chief) running a shift and still had to perform subordinate duties as required--actual work--instead of standing around running the show. My surgeon told me "no restrictions--just don't do it if it hurts." I had no actual issues as a result of the surgery, have not had a recurrance. In the rest of my career I had several subordinates that had the surgery and I don't recall any of them being off more than 3-4 weeks and that was an extreme case. I think I'd get 'er looked at! Just my 2c...

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 11:25 PM
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HiYoSilver, I had both wrists done at the same time in 1981. I was able to use a knife & fork for supper that night in the hospital. I was shuffling cards playing solitaire before the braces and sutures were removed.

Before the surgery, the doctor warned me that the procedure might be a failure and permanent loss of my hands was a possibility. I agree with Firedog, get a 2nd opinion; but realize you could have ended up worse. It was elective surgery.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:23 AM
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I had the left hand done Dec.1, one year ago. I had the incision in the palm down toward the wrist. I wore a brace for a couple weeks and had to be easy on the incision for the first month. I had a little discomfort in the palm area once in while but the finger numbness and hand going to sleep were cured. A year after the surgery I'm having no problems and very happy with the results.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:44 AM
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I've had both hands done in which the surgeon used the open method in the palm of my hands. Did the worse one first - right, was off work for 30 days as my job required a lot of writing and typing. After 30 days, had the left one operated on. Used coco butter, I think with vitamin A to rub on the incision to reduce scar tissue. Hands weak for about 2 wks but after that went back to using as before although tender for a month or so. Did not have any pain from the moment I came to from either surgery other then a little bit around the incision site. Had the surgeries in 2001 and pain free since.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:50 AM
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Firedog and Ventura Chuck sure didn't get the same procedure I had. Both of my wrist were done in 06, about 30 days apart from one another. I should have waited 6 weeks between them. I was set up with my first physical therapy appointment before the surgery so they could take strength measurements for comparison purposes. I was in for PT about a week following the surgery and kept it up for 3 or 4 months. I was going to PT 3 times a week and doing exercises they gave me at home as well. At the 2 month point I was about where you say you are. Now, at the four year mark, I still get some pain at the base of the thumbs now n then.
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:07 AM
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I've had both wrists done at different times, different recovery times on each one. (Different surgeons too.) It may well depend on both how severe your carpal tunnel was, and how good your surgeon was. Don't rush it, if you do, you will regret it.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:24 AM
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Time

A lot of depends on how old you are, the older you are the longer it takes as a rule.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:53 AM
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I had it done last year. I kept putting it off, trying to make it until the offseason but ended up having to do it anyway. I was hurting so bad I was begging the Dr. to do it yesterday. Had pain up through my arm and shoulder all the way to the back of my head.
Went to work after about 4 days. I had quite a bit of pain but made a 5500 mile trip about a month later. Quite a bit of pain for a couple of months. Took about 6 months to get all my strength back but it's fine now and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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