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A 49-year-old female asked:

6 weeks ago i had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands one severe one moderate. i am having extreme pain with 3 fingers on severe tingling and numbness in fingers painful in both hand is this normal after carpal tunnel surgery

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Ring
Hand Surgery 32 years experience
I'm : I'm sure your surgeon is looking after you to be sure there are no problems, so i will just give you the good news that this is extremely common and part of the normal recovery process. I hope you find the following perspectives helpful: 1. Think of when your leg goes to sleep. When you get up and take the pressure of the nerve the "blood rushes back" and it feels worse for a bit. That's what happens when you release severe carpal tunnel syndrome. Except that it can take weeks to months to resolve. Sounds like you are in the period. 2. I'm sure the severe side is not as satisfying as the moderate side. Severe cts is associated with permanent nerve damage which you will experience as numbness, weakness or atrophy. It can be very discouraging and even unsettling to find that you are still numb after surgery. The good news that is entirely expected and consistent with successful surgery. The bad news is that while that "blood rushing back" feeling will get better, the numbness is likely permanent. Nerves recovery slowly, so you won't know the final result for 2 years or so, but people with severe cts need to understand that they have permanent nerve damage. That unsettling feeling that comes with realizing the difference between the hands and "trip the alarm" and actually increase your experience of pain.
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Hand Surgery 35 years experience
I : I thought i might add that in very severe cases you may not. Recover fully but that does not mean you were wrong to have surgery. I use the same analogy with respect to your hand or foot awakening after falling asleep, often no sensation feels better than early returning sensation.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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