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bernese53
@bernese53

Posts: 101
Joined: May 15, 2016

Carpal tunnel release

Posted by @bernese53, Apr 24, 2017

I am not sure where a discussion on carpal tunnel syndrome belongs so I am starting here. I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists in January after thinking the numbness and tingling in my fingers was from diabetic neuropathy…not so much! I am scheduled to have carpal tunnel release surgery at Mayo in Rochester…Dr. Brian Carlson is my surgeon. He made it sound pretty routine but I am getting anxious about the surgery (scheduled for May 5). Has anyone had carpal tunnel release surgery? What was your experience like? How much pain, if any, did you experience following the surgery? How long did it take before you could drive? Before you could use the hand in everyday activities? Any and all answers are appreciated. Thanks.

REPLY

Thank you for starting a conversation on carpal tunnel syndrome and the tunnel release procedure. We have many members who have discussed having carpal tunnel, but did not have a central discussion focused on carpal tunnel.

I would like to invite @allisonsnow, @dawn_giacabazi, @johnbishop, @kyjeanne, @IndianaScott, to this conversation as they have all been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. I would also like to invite @irene5 who may be able to share some insights on carpal tunnel surgery.

@bernese53, you mentioned your surgery is scheduled at Mayo Clinic Rochester, were you able to address some of your concerns with your schedules surgeon? While we wait for others to join the conversation, how long did your physician say the recovery might be or what sort of rehab will you need to do?

Hello @bernese53, welcome to Connect. I have carpal tunnel syndrome but I think mine is related to my polymyalgia rheumatica or my peripheral neuropathy. I don’t feel mine is bad enough for surgery yet so have held off. I did get a shot in the wrist that was supposed to help but it really didn’t do much.
The good news is the the Rochester Mayo Hand Clinic is really good and they do a lot of the carpal tunnel surgeries according to my primary care doc. I found this Mayo Clinic video on carpal tunnel surgery that my give you a better idea on the recovery and expected results:

Video: Carpal tunnel syndrome — results of surgery, Peter Amadio, M.D., a Mayo Clinic hand surgeon:
http://mayocl.in/2psNle9

Hope this helps,
John

@JustinMcClanahan

Thank you for starting a conversation on carpal tunnel syndrome and the tunnel release procedure. We have many members who have discussed having carpal tunnel, but did not have a central discussion focused on carpal tunnel.

I would like to invite @allisonsnow, @dawn_giacabazi, @johnbishop, @kyjeanne, @IndianaScott, to this conversation as they have all been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. I would also like to invite @irene5 who may be able to share some insights on carpal tunnel surgery.

@bernese53, you mentioned your surgery is scheduled at Mayo Clinic Rochester, were you able to address some of your concerns with your schedules surgeon? While we wait for others to join the conversation, how long did your physician say the recovery might be or what sort of rehab will you need to do?

Jump to this post

My surgeon told me that the procedure was “routine”….maybe for him but definitely not for me. No rehab is necessary and recovery time “varies”. I did not pursue many questions with him. Mostly I was in a state of disbelief hearing that I had carpal tunnel syndrome and would need surgery!

Thanks, johnbishop. The video is helpful.

@bernese53

Thanks, johnbishop. The video is helpful.

Jump to this post

John Hopkins website also has a good write up on carpal tunnel surgery that gives some more details…

http://bit.ly/1Q3JqFC

John

Hello @bernese53 Nice to e-meet you here. I am Scott and I, too, have been diagnosed with severe carpel tunnel syndrome in both my hands. It came from the years of repetitive lifting of my wife while I was her caregiver.

After scans and an electromyogram nerve conduction study (not my favorite test in the world), I have been told I need surgery in both hands. While I am not in a position to get to the Mayo for this surgery, I have made the decision (only my personal choice) to forgo the surgery at this time. This is for several reasons. First, I am not ready to be a ‘patient’ this soon after functioning as a caregiver. Second, my local surgeon admitted it is not 100% successful, especially in severe cases. Third, when I pressed him for possible outcomes (beyond ‘it might not work’) I was uncomfortable with the additional things that could go wrong.

This is just my opinion and just my personal decision. While I have seen some improvement in the lessening of the chronic pain in my hands by not having to do the same lifting at this time, I still have pain and sleep with splints every night.

Hoping for all the best for you!
Peace and strength,

@bernese53…..I was DX with bi-lateral carpal tunnel . I went ahead and had the surgery after a couple of cortisone shots, it seemed the period of relief got shorter with each subsequent shot. The pain relief was immediate ! I had less pain the day after the first surgery !!!! and it only got better. The mistake I made was only waiting 2 weeks before I had the left hand done as well…should have waited a little longer I think but I managed to function and get around. I had previously had a release done on my left thumb that took longer to recover. I need to have it done on my right thumb also but for right now I am waiting as I also have cancer and have all the surgeries I want for awhile 🙂 I had the surgeries several !!!! years ago and they still feel fine. Hope some of this puts your mind at ease.

@JustinMcClanahan

Thank you for starting a conversation on carpal tunnel syndrome and the tunnel release procedure. We have many members who have discussed having carpal tunnel, but did not have a central discussion focused on carpal tunnel.

I would like to invite @allisonsnow, @dawn_giacabazi, @johnbishop, @kyjeanne, @IndianaScott, to this conversation as they have all been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. I would also like to invite @irene5 who may be able to share some insights on carpal tunnel surgery.

@bernese53, you mentioned your surgery is scheduled at Mayo Clinic Rochester, were you able to address some of your concerns with your schedules surgeon? While we wait for others to join the conversation, how long did your physician say the recovery might be or what sort of rehab will you need to do?

Jump to this post

@bernese53, I had carpal tunnel surgery on one wrist only (because it was the worst) 6 years ago. It helped greatly, but I have it again in that wrist and have always had it in the other. I see my chiropractor regularly, and he adjusts my wrists each time. It helps for awhile, but it doesn’t last. I’m glad I had the decision to have the surgery on my right wrist, because it was unbearable at the time and has never gotten as bad as it was then.

I had it done about 30 yrs ago and the pain was minimal . The hardest part was rolling my scar area on putty to break up the scar tissue, that did hurt a bit, but no problems since the release.

I had carpal tunnel surgery and the release of my thumb which was a trigger finger last Wednesday (six days ago). I have not needed any pain medicine! While the area is sore, I’m careful not to bother it and it leaves me alone. My surgeon did it laparoscopically, which means I have only a one-inch incision and thus a shorter recovery time. The trigger release for the thumb is my second incision but it doesn’t bother me other than being sore. When I came out of surgery my hand and fingers were really numb. It took a couple of days for that to go away. I was told that was normal. I had a large soft bandage covering my palm and wrist for three days. My hand and thumb were swollen so I iced my fingers since they were the only part not covered. Within a couple of days all the swelling was gone. When I took the bandage off last Friday, my hand looked bruised and I had some type of funny shaped scars under the skin of my wrist that felt like pins and needles when I pressed on it. It’s getting less sensitive each day. Also, each day I’m gaining mobility in that hand. At first it was rather stiff. I was told to open and close like I was making a fist and do that several times a day. It helped.

As far as driving, I was driving two days later without much problem. Each day I’ve been able to do more. Now, six days out, I can do almost everything I did before but now with no pain or tingling. I’m very pleased. If I’d known it was this easy I would not have waited.

I am in St. Louis and I had it done here. I have never been to Mayo as all the others seem to have been.

Complicating factors for me were my lupus, fibromyalgia, and the many medications I’m on which include the chemo drug Cytoxan (used for lupus, not cancer in my case).

Dont be nervous it is an easy recovery. I had it done in Mexico. Mayo Clinic Rchester coudent do it for the short time I had to be there. Realy be sure that you are going to be happy for that surgery. Hope it helps you. Bst wish s on your surgery Flor

Not to worry. Though it is still surgery, it is one of the “easier” surgeries I have had in my life. Dr. Brian Carlson at Mayo did my right hand carpal tunnel release about 3 years ago. I will probably do the left when it becomes more bothersome. I was out of the hospital and back at the hotel early in the afternoon, and the only pain I recall having was that first day. I think I had my stitches removed in about 4-6 weeks. The only thing that kept me from driving was the strong bandage which kept my wrist immobilized. The scar gave me some trouble after that, but the Hand Clinic at Mayo showed me what to do to desensitize the area by rubbing it vigorously and it worked! No problems from then on, and I can work over my head now, without my fingers getting numb. Good luck.

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