Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery Recovery Time

How To Recover From Carpal Tunnel Surgery At Home

Endoscopic Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Release Recovery

The advantage of Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas, Endoscopic Carpal tunnel release is post op recovery. The post operative recovery is very predictable after performing our No Stitch endoscopic carpal tunnel release. Immediately after the surgery, you can write type, and feed yourself with the operated hand. You can do light duties at work as well the next day, such as sitting at a desk, typing, etc. More physically demanding jobs that require lifting, climbing, pulling, to name a few will take longer. On your first post operative visit, the dressings are usually removed, and you can do unrestricted activities. That means, you really cannot hurt the surgery that was performed, but you may not be at your full strength just yet, and thus may not be able to do everything at your job after one week. There is post operative inflammation in the palm which can last from 6 weeks to 3 months, but it usually resolves around 3 months. Again, it is very tolerable. Most patients do home therapy on their own, but some may need occupational / physical therapy, and it is usually determined post op by our physicians.

Can Carpal Tunnel Be Prevented

In cases where carpal syndrome has no apparent cause, preventing it may be difficult. However, there are certain lifestyle factors to consider that may reduce your risk of experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome. Refraining from frequent repetitive hand motions and reducing your risk of diabetes by maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program may reduce your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Additionally, being proactive about your nerve health by getting the right nutrients may protect you from nerve damage.* NeuraZenx is a multi-nutrient supplement that is formulated to support nerve health.* It uses natural vitamins and minerals chosen for general nerve support.*

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery

The endoscopic method is a newer operative technique that many surgeon are learning and using. Compared to the open method, it requires advanced skills as well as specialized surgical tools.

Essentially, there aretwo typesof endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery single portalanddouble portal. Both aim to accomplish the same thing: to cut the ligament holding the wrist bones together. Doing so frees up the median nerve.

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Why It Is Done

Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery is considered when:

  • You still have symptoms after a long period of nonsurgical treatment. In general, surgery is not considered until after several weeks to months of nonsurgical treatment. But this assumes that you still have symptoms but there’s no sign of nerve damage. Nerve damage would make surgery more urgent.
  • Severe symptoms restrict your normal daily activities.
  • There is damage to the median nerve or a risk of damage to the nerve.

A person who is having surgery on both wrists, or who depends on a wheelchair, a walker, or crutches, may choose endoscopic surgery. That’s because the healing time can be shorter than with open surgery.

Recovery From Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery Recovery Time

Endoscopic surgery is much less traumatic than the open release type. And therefore the recovery time is less. Many patients can return to their work during this 30 day period.

Their job activity is usually limited. For instance, you must restrict any vigorous hand activities like lifting heavy objects or excessive typing.

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Candidates For The Procedure

Not all patients are candidates for a minimally invasive endoscopic carpal tunnel release, particularly in severe or atypical cases. Dr. Jacobson also offers the full breadth of surgical and nonsurgical options, including traditional open carpal tunnel release surgery and various advanced techniques for revision surgery. Dr. Jacobson has extensive experience treating particularly complex cases. Contact us for more information.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal tunnel surgery involves a surgeon making an incision on your wrist. The surgeon will then find the carpal ligament and cut it. Cutting the carpal ligament releases pressure on the median nerve, which will allow the nerve to pass freely through the carpal tunnel without being squeezed.

The surgery itself usually takes about 15 minutes but with surgery prep and anesthesia, expect to be in the surgery room for at least 45 minutes. After the surgery, the surgeon will stitch up your wound and cover it with a bandage. The success rate of carpal tunnel surgery is high, at 90%. How well the surgery works for you will depend on how early you began treating your carpal tunnel syndrome.

Those who started treatment early will likely experience a full recovery. For those who sought treatment later, its possible irreversible nerve damage has already occurred.

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But I Really Cant Wait To Get Back To The Gym

You will come home from surgery with either a bandage or splint. Follow your doctors or nurses instructions, which may include dos and donts, along with instructions about showering and bathing, antibiotics if prescribed, and pain management.

A few reminders regarding recovery:

  • Dont lift anything heavier than 1-2 pounds.
  • You may use your hand right away for light activities such as eating and getting dressed, but refrain from repetitious activities like typing, chopping food, vacuuming, or using a computer mouse or power tools.
  • As discomfort lessens, driving may be possible in as little as 4 days.
  • Keyboarding may be okay within 10 days.
  • Recovery time for strenuous use may be 4-6 weeks or even longer, and yes, that includes the gym.

Most patients dont need formal physical therapy, which is common with other types of hand surgeries, but certain exercises may be prescribed.

The hand will tell you if it is ready for a certain activity, Rockwell warns. If your hand hurts with activity, avoid that activity. If you push your hand into activity before it is ready, healing and recovery will be delayed.

What To Expect After You Have Surgery

Surgery and Recovery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

After your surgery, you can expect your hand to be bandaged or in a splint for one to two weeks. If you have a splint you will need to go back to the doctors to get it removed. Your stitches will also need to be taken out at the same time.

This will also be a good chance for your doctor to have a look at the recovery process. After that then you will be able to start physical therapy on your wrist and hand.

It might be that you experience an immediate release in pressure and improvement in the hand or wrist from the first day. However, this might be something that takes a period of months to fully heal. Try to avoid any heavy lifting or exertion for at least a couple of weeks to allow the healing process to work.

Its completely normal to feel pain and a general sense of discomfort around the site of your surgery for a few weeks after. This can be managed through oral pain medication that your doctor can prescribe you or over-the-counter ones. You can also keep your affected hand elevated at night to help with the pain and swelling.

With any surgery, there are always risks involved. Educate yourself on these so that youre fully aware of all the facts before having carpal tunnel surgery. Some of these risks are:

  • Bleeding at the site of the surgery
  • Infection around the incision, in the wrist, or stitches
  • Injuries to the surrounding blood vessels
  • A painful or sensitive scar
  • Injury to the median nerve or the nerves that are connected to it

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Carpal Tunnel Surgery Recovery Time Off Work

If you have been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome , commonly caused by repetitive stress injury at work, and have determined that surgery is your best course of action for treatment, then you may have several questions about what this will entail. For most patients, their biggest concern has to do with their recovery time, and more specifically, how much time they will need to take off work.

This is particularly important for people who need to type or use their hands and wrists to do their job effectively. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how long it takes to heal. However, if you are getting this type of surgery, you can expect some significant downtime during the recovery process. The recovery time can also depend on the type of Carpal Tunnel Surgery that you have as each involves a slightly different process. These are the two types of surgeries.

What Are The Risks And/or Side Effects

Although carpal tunnel release surgery is usually successful, complications can still occur. Any surgery carries the risks of allergic reaction to anesthesia, infection, and bleeding. Additional risks associated with surgery may include:

  • Injury to a blood vessel
  • Injury to the median nerve or the nerves that branch off it
  • Return of pain and numbness to the hand

There may be other risks depending on your health, as well as the procedure chosen, so talk to your doctor about the risks, benefits, and your concerns.

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When To Get Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

After arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most frequent hand problem doctors see. It affects 5 million Americans, with a quarter million new cases each year.

So it’s no wonder that carpal tunnel release surgery is also the fourth most common operation performed in the USA. Your surgeon will recommend release surgery ONLY if you meet the 3 following criteria:

  • You’ve had severe symptoms for at least 6 months.This is important in light of the fact that 50% of patients see theircarpal tunnel symptomsresolve on their own. That means numbness, pain, tingling or weakness will simply disappear with no help. Usually this occurs within a month of the symptoms first being noticed. But in the other 50% of patients the situation is different. If symptoms last for more than a few months, they’ll usually remain if you don’t treat them. And in the majority of those sufferers, symptoms will get even more intense over time.

When yourcarpal tunnel doctorfeels you’ve met ALL of these 3 criteria, they’ll generally recommend carpal tunnel release surgery.

What About Pain Management After Surgery

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome  Dr Nicholas Smith

Your surgeon will advise you about pain management. According to Rockwell, the regimen is usually a combination of acetaminophen and ibuprofen plus some type of pain pill. Several research studies from the last few years have looked at pain management after endoscopic surgery compared to open release. They have found that opioids are not needed in many instances, especially in the case of endoscopic surgery.

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Light At The End Of The Tunnel: After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

During carpal tunnel surgery, the transverse carpal ligament is cut in order to release the pressure from the median nerve and to relieve pain. The recovery time after surgery will depend on a number of factors including whether the patient has endoscopic or open surgery, whether the surgery was performed on the dominant hand, and the type of work done by the patient.

Whats The Surgery Like

First, youâll get local anesthesia — drugs to numb your hand and wrist. You may also get medicine to help keep you calm. .

When the operation is finished, your doctor stitches the openings shut and puts a large bandage on your wrist. This protects your wound and keeps you from using your wrist.

Your doctor and nurses will keep an eye on you for a little while before letting you go home. Youâll likely leave the hospital the same day. Overnight stays are rare.

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Pro: Less Trauma & Pain

Considering all the pros and cons of endoscopic surgery for carpal tunnel,the most significant advantage is the lesser trauma produced compared to the open release method.

Before single or double portal endoscopic surgery was developed, all doctors used the “open release” technique. But the main problem is the open technique requires a 2-3 inch long cut on your palm. That means muscles and blood vessels are interrupted and even damaged.

As a result of the extensive tissue trauma with the open technique, there’s much morepost-operative pain.This translates into more extensive aftercare and longerrecovery time after surgery . Hand rehabilitation can take months or even a year with the open technique.

In contrast, the endoscopic method reduces these problems significantly. Recovery is faster, aftercare is easier, and rehabilitation time is shorter. Moreover, there’s much less post-surgical pain.

When patients weigh all the pros and cons of endoscopic surgery for carpal tunnel surgery,they consider having less pain as the major “pro”.

Diagnosis Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Release Endoscopic Surgery

Your doctor diagnoses carpal tunnel syndrome by performing a detailed medical history and physical examination. Further tests may be ordered including an X-ray to view your wrist bones, blood tests to rule out underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and thyroid problems, and electrodiagnostic testing to assess the speed and degree of electrical activity in your nerves and muscles.

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Immediately After Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

After your carpal tunnel release surgery by a neurosurgeon at Florida Surgery Consultants is complete, you will be taken to a recovery room. Carpal tunnel surgery recovery time in the recovery room will last one to two hours. You will wake up from the anesthesia, be assessed for pain, and receive information from the neurosurgeon and nurses about how your procedure went. You will also receive instructions on managing pain or discomfort. The nurses will also assist you with setting up your first postoperative appointment. You will go home after you are able to have a small snack and drink some water.

Types Of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

Your doctor will recommend one of two basic types of carpal tunnel release surgery. These are:

  • The larger incision causes more hand trauma, resulting in morepostsurgical pain.
  • A larger incision means more extensive and involvedaftercare.
  • It’s usually performed under general anesthesia which some people react to badly.
  • Since the hand trauma is more extensive, it will require longer hand strength rehabilitation time.
  • The extensive trauma produces a greater chance of permanent hand weakness.
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    Carpal Tunnel Surgery Explained

    Using a pencil-thin arthroscope, cannula and tiny knives, the hand surgeon is able to incise the ligament from the inside of the carpal tunnel, which in turn allows the carpal tunnel to expand and increase in volume, alleviating the painful pressure on the median nerve and allowing it to heal.

    Post-operative treatment for this carpal tunnel surgery includes a light dressing for less than a week and, sometimes, short-term occupational therapy.

    Performed in an outpatient setting, Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release provides a quicker and less painful recuperation to traditional carpal tunnel surgery methods, in most cases, as well as recovery of superior grip and pinch strength. As a result, patients are able to return sooner to both athletic and work activities.

    In general, this carpal tunnel surgery should take under 10 minutes.

    What Happens During Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Carpal Tunnel And Ulnar Nerve Surgery Recovery Time

    Carpal tunnel release is usually an outpatient procedure, which means that you can go home the same day as the surgery if all goes well. There are 2 types of carpal tunnel release surgery. The traditional method is the open release, in which the surgeon cuts open the wrist to do the surgery.

    The other method is endoscopic carpal tunnel release, in which a thin, flexible tube that contains a camera is put into the wrist through a tiny incision . The camera guides the doctor as the surgery is done with thin tools put into the wrist through another small cut.

    In either case, here is the general sequence of events in a carpal tunnel release surgery:

  • You will usually be asked to remove your clothing, or at least your shirt, and put on a hospital gown.
  • Typically, local anesthetic is used for this procedure to numb the hand and wrist.
  • In an open release surgery, the surgeon cuts about a 2-inch incision on the wrist. Then he or she uses common surgical instruments to cut the carpal ligament and enlarge the carpal tunnel.
  • In an endoscopic carpal tunnel release, the doctor makes 2, half-inch incisions. One is on the wrist, and one is on the palm. Then he or she inserts a camera attached to a narrow tube into one incision. The camera guides your doctor as he or she inserts the instruments and cuts the carpal ligament through the other incision.
  • The surgeon will stitch up the incision or incisions.
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    Carpal Tunnel Surgery Alternatives

    Carpal tunnel surgery is used as a last resort option to treat and potentially heal severe carpal tunnel syndrome. Because carpal tunnel surgery recovery time can be lengthy and the surgery is not without risks, doctors recommend first trying conservative treatments for an extended period of time, often a year or more.

    A commonly recommended course of action is to avoid repetitive and excessive movement at the wrist. However, while doctors used to think that carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by a repetitive injury , Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that this view is changing based on the latest medical evidence. While carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by an injury, such as a sprain or fracture, most often it is not. When there are no clear physical signs of injury, there is reason to believe that the root cause of carpal tunnel syndrome may be some distance away from the wrist.

    For example, there is a clinically-tested method that asserts that the root cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is non-structural in nature. The method has an excellent track record and is used by reputable medical establishments in the United States. This includes New York University Medical Center, Cornell Medical Center, and George Washington University Medical School, among others. The Finally Pain Free Program dedicates an entire Module to discussing this important topic. If you would like to learn more, watch this short video course, which introduces the topic in more detail.

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