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After Carpal Tunnel Surgery Side Effects

by Lyndon Langley
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After Carpal Tunnel Surgery Side Effects

After Carpal Tunnel Surgery Side Effects

Many of us know what it’s like to have a dull ache in our wrist that just won’t go away no matter how hard we try. If you’re one of those people who suffer with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), then you may be familiar with this problem as well. The good news is that there are several different treatments for CTS, including surgery and medication injection therapy. And while these therapies can help relieve symptoms, they also come with their own set of side effects.
Carpal tunnel release surgery involves cutting through ligaments and muscles to relieve pressure on your median nerve, which runs through the palm side of the wrist. Some people choose to undergo open surgical procedures, where an extra cut is made under the skin and soft tissue over the top of the hand to allow access to the wrist bones. Others opt instead for minimally invasive techniques, where only small cuts are needed at the bottom of the palm but none across the wrist.
With any kind of surgery, though, comes some degree of risk. After all, if something goes wrong during the procedure, your results could be disastrous.
Side Effect FAQs
What are the most common side effects after having a carpal tunnel release?
Fever. Redness, swelling, bleeding, or other drainage from the incision. Increased pain around the incision.
What should I do if I experience problems after my surgery?
If you notice redness, swelling, drainage, increased pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, trouble moving the fingers, burning sensation, discoloration, change in bowel or bladder habits, fever, chills, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, drooling, rash, hives, mouth sores, dry eyes, discharge coming out of the eyes, slurred speech, feeling faint, seizures, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, unconsciousness, or unusual behavior by children born prematurely, call your doctor immediately.
How long will I need to take care of myself after my surgery?
You’ll need to keep your arm elevated above your heart when sleeping and avoid strenuous activities such as lifting weights. You might want to consider wearing a splint for about two weeks following surgery to protect yourself from injury until the wound has fully healed. Your surgeon may recommend physical therapy for six months following surgery to strengthen your wrists and hands.
Will I be able to drive afterward?
Your physician will advise you regarding whether or not you can return to work soon after your surgery. It usually takes three days before patients can resume normal daily activities, and your recovery time will depend upon many factors, including your overall health, age, and type of job.
Can I eat right after surgery?
Yes; however, if certain foods upset your stomach, don’t eat them. Also, avoid large meals within four hours of going home because they may cause complications. Drink plenty of fluids — water, juice, soup, milkshakes, tea, etc., unless otherwise directed by your physician.
Is alcohol allowed after surgery?
Alcohol consumption should be avoided for 24 hours after your operation since it can slow down the healing process. Smoking must also stop at least eight hours prior to surgery. Alcohol use, smoking, excessive coffee intake, and taking aspirin or other blood-thinning medications should be stopped 48 hours beforehand.
Are there restrictions I need to follow once I’m released?
Most hospitals require patients to wear a cast or wrap for up to 10 days, depending on their condition. For example, patients recovering from hip replacement surgery should stay off their feet for 12 to 18 hours per day. This includes walking, standing, sitting, lying down, climbing stairs, bathing, washing hair, getting dressed, using telephones, driving, operating machinery, and exercising. Patients undergoing knee replacement surgery should walk with crutches, use a cane, sit in chairs without back support, lie down every two hours, get up slowly from a chair, and sleep on their backs. Patients who had shoulder surgeries should wear a sling for six weeks.
For more information on possible side effects following surgery, please see the complete list here.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Americans are living longer than ever — we now average 78 years old compared to 66 years old in 1900. But as we live longer, so does the likelihood of developing conditions like diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

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