CARPAL TUNNEL SURGERY REQUIRES THOUGHTFUL PLANNING

Carpal tunnel postoperative instructions are customized towards the individual patient and following these instructions will ensure a full recovery. If you plan to have, or have recently had carpal tunnel surgery, it’s important to know that having a strong, positive attitude, setting small goals for improvement, and working steadily to accomplish each goal will lessen your recovery time.

Our team of dedicated neurosurgeons will discuss your carpal tunnel postoperative instructions with you and are here to answer questions or discuss concerns every step of the way. If you have questions about your personal care plan, call (603) 448-0447 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In case of any emergency during non-business hours please dial the same main number and follow the prompts to page the neurosurgeon-on-call.

General carpal tunnel postoperative instructions are provided below, but post op instructions can vary, are specific to each patient and depend on the type of procedure administered. Patients who have received anterior cervical procedureslumbar surgery, or SI joint fusions may require an individual, post-operative care plan.

PAIN

It is normal to have pain after your surgery; especially in muscular areas (i.e.:  shoulders, neck, back etc.) this does not mean that the hand and the procedure were unsuccessful or that your recovery will be delayed.  This is primarily caused by inflammation of the previously compressed nerve; the discomfort will gradually decrease as the nerve continues to heal.  Medications will be given to control pain.  Moist heat and or ice and frequent repositioning may also be of further help.

NUTRITION

Intravenous (I.V.) fluids will be discontinued when you can tolerate regular liquids without nausea or vomiting.  Your diet will then be adjusted back to normal as your appetite returns.  Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, and eat whole grain cereals, fruits, and fruit juices to combat constipation that is sometimes caused by pain medications.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Patient’s should keep the surgical sight elevated and above heart level for 24 hours and as needed for swelling. Feel free to move fingers as tolerated. Consult your surgeon in regards to your current driving status.  There are no set time restrictions.  Use common sense and do not attempt to resume driving until you feel completely comfortable to drive in an uninhibited manner.  It is recommended that you do not drive for the first 1-2 weeks while taking higher dosages of narcotic pain relievers.

You may resume other physical activities including work only after consulting with your treating surgeon.

BATHING AND WOUND CARE

If sutures have been left in your incision, you may remove the dressing and shower 3 days after you surgery. Keep your bandage intact and dry for 3 days after surgery; on the 4th day you may remove the bandage, at this time it will be okay for the surgical site to get wet.
Do not:

  • Scrub the incision. Instead, pat the area try with a towel after showering.
  • Soak the incision (i.e.: baths, swimming etc.) until you are approximately 2 weeks out from your surgery and the sutures have been removed.

DRIVING

Consult you surgeon in regards to your current driving status. There are no set time restrictions. Use common sense and do not attempt to resume driving until you feel completely comfortable to drive in an uninhibited manner. It is recommended that you do not drive for the first 1-2 weeks or while taking high dosages of narcotic pain relievers.

FOLLOW UP CARE

You may have sutures that will need to be removed within 10-14 days after surgery. You may arrange to have your primary care provider remove them if you live far away. Otherwise, a suture removal appointment with a Physician Assistant will be made for you in our office.

CALL YOUR SURGEON IF….

  • You develop a fever of over 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You have redness, swelling, pain and/or drainage from your incision.
  • You experience urinary problems.
  • You experience any NEW weakness or numbness in your arms or legs.

The nursing staff at the hospital will review discharge instructions with you and answer any questions prior to your discharge. A follow-up appointment with a Physician Assistant will be arranged in 4-6 weeks following surgery. You will also have a follow up appointment scheduled with the surgeon 3 months post surgery.

If you have any questions prior to receiving your call, please contact Upper Valley Neurology Neurosurgery at (603) 448-0447 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In case of any emergency during non-business hours please dial the same main number and follow the prompts to page the neurosurgeon-on-call.