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What to Expect After Carpal Tunnel Surgery: A Personal Experience

I’ve suffered from carpal tunnel symptoms for years and finally had the surgery on both hands. I hope my experience helps others.

How is the recovery from carpal tunnel surgery?

I cannot lie, it’s a bit challenging. But if you know what to expect after carpal tunnel surgery it eliminates surprises during your recovery.

I wrote this article because I was looking for information with regards to what I could expect after my own carpal tunnel surgery.

I discovered that there was very little online from patients who’ve been through the surgery. Those were the people I wanted to hear from. There were some scattered forum comments here and there, but little else.

I thought an article dedicated to exactly what someone could expect before, during and after this surgery would be helpful to people who may be facing the same surgery, and who may feel scared or worried.

I’ve been through the surgery on both hands. Both surgeries were a success. Allowing proper recovery time contributed to that. So I’m devoting the rest of this article to providing as much detail as possible as to what to expect before, during and after the surgical procedure for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

No Scars

My most recent CTS surgery on my left hand. No more numbness and tingling, no scars, and full range of motion.

My most recent CTS surgery on my left hand. No more numbness and tingling, no scars, and full range of motion.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndome?

In among the bones, tendons, and muscles in your wrist and hand lies the median nerve. This nerve lies within a narrow passageway, called the carpal tunnel, that connects the structures that run between your arm and hand.

The nerve has no room to move around because the bones in your hand run through the back of your wrist and hand. Meanwhile, the ligament that protects those bones runs across the front of your hand and presses on the tendons, which in turn, presses on the median nerve situated in the center of your wrist. Over time, the nerve gets inflamed from the constant pressure.

The pain from this nerve compression runs from mild to severe. Left untreated, sufferers can start to lose the use of the fingers that are affected. It can only be described as feeling like your hands are asleep all the time.

A diagram of the Carpal Tunnel and median nerve in the wrist

A diagram of the Carpal Tunnel and median nerve in the wrist

You can usually tell it’s carpal tunnel by the fingers affected

A telltale sign that the median nerve is involved are the fingers that are affected. Carpal tunnel syndrome specifically produces numbness, tingling, and pain in the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger, and sometimes, part of the ring finger. In my case, I didn’t have any symptoms on my ring finger or pinky finger.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Some diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can mimic symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Diabetics can also suffer from nerve damage in their hands. This is why it is important to determine the underlying cause with a physician.

The true cause of CTS is long-term repetitive motion such as typing, heavy lifting, writing, drawing etc., Any of these activities can contribute to this syndrome. Any work or activity that requires repetitive motions with your hands ove