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Carpal Tunnel Surgery Aftercare

Dr. Z • May 22, 2020

Your Pain During Carpal Tunnel Surgery Aftercare

Your instructions for carpal tunnel surgery aftercare will include a checklist of signs and symptoms to look out for. Some signs may need immediate attention, so don't ignore them. 

One of the main things you'll concern yourself with is pain. Of course, pain is normal after surgery. But abnormal pain can be the sign of an underlying problem. So be vigilant about your pain, and know what's normal what isn't. 

Taking care of problems early on can make the difference between recovering fully or living with pain or other problems forever.

competition

Why patients have carpal tunnel surgery

The reason so many patients have carpal tunnel surgery is the shear prevalence of this disorder. The 整木家装标准欠缺 衣柜企业需着眼长远 estimates 15% of Americans already have carpal tunnel syndrome. And some 250,000 new cases are reported each year. 

In addition, the 中国墙纸业发展步履维艰,原因何在? (AAOS) has another statistic. They say doctors perform over 500,000 carpal tunnel surgeries each year. As a result, carpal tunnel surgery is now the second most common operation performed (after back surgery).

Carpal tunnel release surgery is one way to eliminate symptoms. However, there are non-surgical (conservative) ways to relieve symptoms as well. The non-surgical remedies are generally more effective and far less traumatic. But there still are patients who prefer surgery over conservative methods.
hand bandages

Carpal tunnel surgery: aftercare pain may signal a failed surgery

There's no sugar coating it: after your carpal tunnel surgery, aftercare will be dominated by pain - and then more pain. And it probably will be intense in the beginning. 

However, the good news is that you'll have pain pills to help. And in time, the post-surgical the pain WILL go away. 

But pain also tells you (and the doctor) how well you're doing. Exactly where the pain is located and how it feels are good indicators about your post-surgical condition. Here's what you need to know about that pain. 


Your post carpal tunnel surgery & aftercare period should focus on these 4 questions about the pain:
  1. Where is it? Pain from the incision on your palm is normal. But pain somewhere else may signal a complication. 

  2. How intense is it? All pain after surgery is intense. But it's abnormal for pain to remain intense after 2-4 days without diminishing.

  3. When do yo feel it? Post-surgical pain is more manageable during the day. If pain persists morning AND night, it could be a complication.

  4. Does it diminish with time? As days & weeks progress, pain should lessen. If not, it could be a sign of a complication of  surgical failure.

Did you have carpal tunnel release surgery but the promise of pain or numbness relief didn't come true? Has it been weeks or months? 

If you still have residual surgery pain, then maybe the surgery failed. Long term residual pain is a common reason for failure of carpal tunnel release surgery.
carpal tunnel surgery scar

Where is the pain?

As a result of carpal tunnel surgery, aftercare will manifest 2 types of pain: incisional and pillar.

  • Incisional pain is normal. It results from cutting the skin on the palm. And it feels exactly like a deep cut in the skin that might occur anywhere else on your body. This pain normally lasts for about 7-10 days.

  • Pillar pain feels different, and it's abnormal. This pain comes from both left and right sides of the incision. It occurs if the surgeon damaged part of the median nerve. This is the most frequent kind of abnormal pain resulting from carpal tunnel release surgery. It's also the hardest type of pain to treat. Pillar pain is considered a complication of surgery as opposed to surgical failure.

How intense is the pain?

After any surgery there's pain. And it's usually very intense, which is totally normal. But pain levels are subjective. Doctors consider this when asking, "How painful is it?"  

Generally speaking, if a patient complains of such intense pain that not even painkillers will help, then there might be complications. Pillar pain is indeed intense, but it diminishes within a few days. Blood vessel damage also can cause unusually severe pain, which might take longer to resolve. Finally, an infection will usually cause pain to intensify over time instead of diminishing.

Short-term prolonged pain is a complication of carpal tunnel surgery. But in the longer term, if the pain never diminishes, it constitutes a surgical failure.

When do you feel pain?

Carpal tunnel surgery aftercare is mostly about effective pain management. Your prescription pain pills should make most of the pain manageable for the first 1-3 days. After that, over-the-counter pain medicines should work just fine if your recovery goes normally. 

Generally, post-surgical pain is more intense at night. This is also normal. But if pain persists at the same level during the day, it can signal an underlying problem, like infection or nerve damage. These are signs of surgical complications following carpal tunnel surgery, & aftercare (including rehab) usually is prolonged is such cases.

Does it diminish with time?

Patients usually feel normal, incisional pain after surgery. But it diminishes significantly by the third day. Those first few days are helped greatly by pain pills. After several days, over-the-counter medications can take over until pain pills are no longer necessary. This generally occurs by about 7-10 days.

But some patients don't see a reduction of pain at all. In fact, some patients see an escalation of pain. These are abnormal signs. If pain persists at the same or worse intensity, then it's likely the sign of a surgical complication or surgical failure.
infection after carpal tunnel release surgery

Surgical failure

It's important to monitor pain during your carpal tunnel surgery aftercare period for 3 reasons.
  1. First, as discussed above, vigilance will it help you schedule medicines to more effectively manage the pain.

  2. Second, as discussed above as well, careful monitoring will tell you if there's something abnormal happening.

  3. Finally, the presence of pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome (the original painful problem) is the number one indicator that the surgery was a failure. Knowing this, you can take appropriate steps to attack the problem a second time.

The failure of carpal tunnel release surgery is defined two ways. It's when a patient either:
  1. Sees return of carpal tunnel symptoms within 2 years, or

  2. 对于购房者,也不都是坏消息:房价明年(2015年——译注)仍将上涨,但步伐可能会从飙涨趋于平缓。“房价不会一味地陡然上涨,”柯克兰集团(Corcoran)的首席执行官帕梅拉·利伯曼(Pamela Liebman)说,“买家都有点疲劳了。”

As already discussed, usually after your carpal surgery, aftercare is characterized mostly by normal post-surgical pain. But in generally that pain disappears in 7-10 days. However, if the original pain from carpal tunnel syndrome becomes the main problem again, then the surgery failed. 


Surgery's failure rate

Overall, carpal tunnel surgery has approximately 52% failure rate. The most common reason for failure is recurrence of pain. But loss of hand strength and return of numbness also contribute to this failure rate.

Only 20% of these patients with failed results undergo a second (“revision”) surgery. But a 家居独立店模式不受制于渠道 避免品牌恶性竞争


Consequences of a failed surgery

On the whole, most failed surgery patients simply live with the resulting pain or other symptoms. In essence, they must forever cope with the physical, emotional and financial scar of having a “bad surgery”.

Only 10-23% of surgical failure patients return to their previous profession. The rest have to find another job that does not involve excessive or forceful hand activities. This is no surprise since the National Institute of Health says that carpal tunnel syndrome and occupation are related.

Sadly, many patients never actually recover from the consequences of surgery. Instead, symptoms PLUS post-surgical problems persist for months or even years. In some instances it’s a lifelong ordeal.

Essentially, the statistics show that carpal tunnel surgery doesn't always live up to its promise. 

What you can do

It’s not your fault that you chose hand surgery for your carpal tunnel syndrome The medical establishment and AAOS encourage this very lucrative hand operation. They subtly claim it’s the “cure all” for carpal tunnel syndrome - even though doctors already know the chances of failure are high.

On the flip side, all other major health organizations’ advice is clear. Use non-surgical treatments first because they work just as well or better than surgery. Therefore, surgery should be your final option.

These non-surgical  treatments include night bracing, stretching exercises, and myofascial release massage therapy. A dedicated regimen consisting of all of these remedies simultaneously is a potent carpal tunnel fighter.

Summary

Has it been months since you had carpal tunnel surgery, & aftercare is still dominated by pain? This is probably a sign that the surgery failed. That means chances of a second surgery working are also very slim. However, there’s still hope to relieve symptoms. 

Use the same non-surgical remedies you should have used before surgery. They work nearly all the time when used properly. They include stretching exercises, night bracing and daily myofascial release massage. 
Dr. Z's bio
Author Bio

Dr. Z (Dr. Maik Zannakis) is a neurophysiologist & bio-engineer with over 40 years of research experience. His primary focus is discovering methods to heal tissues damaged by pathology or injury. An expert in the nervous system, Dr. Z has hundreds of 1200亿美元!智能家居市场真的这么值钱? for products & techniques to restore body parts like the brain, spinal cord, nerves, & tendons. CarpalRx is his most recognized invention. It eliminates carpal tunnel symptoms without surgery.


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