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Doctor insights on: Nerve Pain After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

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Post carpal tunnel surgery, can a follow-up nerve conduction study (ncs) have adverse effects or make the hand worse. Can ncs lead to complex regional pain syndrome?

Post carpal tunnel surgery, can a follow-up nerve conduction study (ncs) have adverse effects or make the hand worse. Can ncs lead to complex regional pain syndrome?

Not really ; Ditto: Although I am not sure why a follow-up nerve conduction study would be necessary there is little chance that could cause any type of harm or worsening of symptoms. I am unaware of any literature that supports the notion of complex regional pain syndrome as a result of a nerve conduction study. ...Read more

Nerve (Definition)

The brain and spinal cord communicates with what is occurring in the internal organs and limbs by nerve fibers where are like electrical wires with insulation (myelin) and the "copper" (axon). Within brain and spinal cord these nerves connect to other nerves via synapses on both axons and dendrites. A nerve can carry information regarding sensations, and ...Read more


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What are the best exercises after carpal tunnel surgery?

What are the best exercises after carpal tunnel surgery?

Keep fingers moving: After any hand surgery it's important to keep the fingers moving. Make full fists and extend the fingers many times throughout the day. After a week or two start moving the wrist. ...Read more

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Why shouldn't you wear a sling after carpal tunnel surgery?

Why shouldn't you wear a sling after carpal tunnel surgery?

Slings: Typically it is more ideal to elevate s limb after surgery. Although a sling can be tightened, ultimately the wrist is still lower than the heart which will lead to swelling. ...Read more

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What can I expect after carpal tunnel surgery?

What can I expect after carpal tunnel surgery?

Usually relief: Typically results from carpal tunnel surgery are good. That is, symptoms resolve with relatively little down time. While surgeons differ in their protocol, in my practice the operation is done under local anesthesia with light sedation and the patient can use the hand for most activities right after surgery. Stitches come out at two weeks and the patient leaves with a band aid. That's usually it. ...Read more

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What are recommended exercises after carpal tunnel surgery?

What are recommended exercises after carpal tunnel surgery?

Keep fingers moving: Immediately after surgery it's important to keep your fingers moving with your wrist in a neutral position (not bent backward or foreward). Try doing this several times an hour while awake for the first 24 hours. Movements should be slow and full - fully extend the fingers straight and fully flex them into the palm, but without gripping tightly. ...Read more

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What is the typical recovery time after carpal tunnel surgery?

What is the typical recovery time after carpal tunnel surgery?

CTR recovery: In my practice the patient has a soft dressing for 1 week and they start mobilizing in the second week. Recovery from the carpal tunnel surgery can be as quick as two weeks but the nerve recovery may take 6 months if the nerve compression was severe. Scar matures over 6-9 months. Your hand surgeon is the best person to give you detailed information about recovery specific to your condition. ...Read more

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What to do if mild pain recurs after carpal tunnel surgery?

What to do if mild pain recurs after carpal tunnel surgery?

Time: You need time, up to 6 month to recover. Pain, unfortunately , is part of recovering from surgery. Contact your surgeon and ask for pain medications. ...Read more

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Can trigger finger happen after carpal tunnel surgery?

Yes: Recent research just published within the last few months does show an increased risk of developing trigger finger after carpal tunnel surgery. The biomechanics of the tendons going through the carpal tunnel are altered slightly after the surgery which can in fact increase the risk of developing trigger finger. ...Read more

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Is it common after carpal tunnel surgery to get trigger finger?

Yes: There has been new research demonstrating an increased risk of trigger finger after carpal tunnel surgery. The release of the thick ligament which is causing compression on the nerve does alter the biomechanics of the tendons slightly which can increase the chances of developing trigger finger. This article was just published within the last few months. ...Read more

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Will carpel tunnel force me into a new career? I'm a barber and developed carpal tunnel after fifteen years. Is there any chance i can go back to being a barber after carpal tunnel surgery or is it time to find a new profession?

Will carpel tunnel force me into a new career? I'm a barber and developed carpal tunnel after fifteen years. Is there any chance i can go back to being a barber after carpal tunnel surgery or is it time to find a new profession?

No career change: Carpal tunnel surgery permanently changes the anatomy of the carpal tunnel so reoccurrent symptoms, even if returning to the same job, is unusual.

So fixing the carpal tunnel should get you back to being a barber -. ...Read more

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I'm wondering why are my fingers feeling numb after carpal tunnel surgery?

It may be that: The amoujnt of nerve compression was evere and that it takes time for the nerve to feel better. It may be that the nerve was irritated by the surgical process and that the nerve is a bit more sleepy. In severe cases often it takes longer ( far longer than it does for the incision to recover) to exhibit improvement and at times full improvement may not be possible. Talk to your surgeon about this. ...Read more

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When can I go back to work after carpal tunnel surgery?

When can I go back to work after carpal tunnel surgery?

6 weeks: For most patients, they are able to gradually resume most normal activities around 6 weeks after surgery. Most do not require occupational therapy on the hand. However, ot can be helpful if the recovery is slow. The type of work being done influences when someone can return. The more strenuous the work the more time it takes. Your surgeon can help you make a plan as to when you can return. ...Read more

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How long after carpal tunnel surgery will my fingers remind numb?

How long after carpal tunnel surgery will my fingers remind numb?

I : I always tell patients that the time to healing is variable in that no two patients are exactly the same. However typically you can go back to light activites within a few days to a few weeks and heavy activity in 4-6 weeks. Of course this is job and activity dependent. If you are a sedentary office worker its a lot different than a plumber or machinist. General health also affects return to function. If you have diabetes, are a smoker or have fibromyalgia or an inflammatory condition you may have an extended time period.

Healing means different things to people. Some take it to imply return to activity others return of normal sensation.
I take time to clarify these two questions before surgery.

Will my sensation come back or be normal after surgery?

While the goal of carpal tunnel surgery is to relieve the pressure on the nerve not everyone will respond the same to surgery

some patients will have immediate return of sensation while some will take longer. Some will notice an improvement right away but still feel tingling and will describe this as "numb" the return of sensation is dependent on many factors including age, general health, duration of symptoms, circulation and the actual mechanical severity of compression.

In very severe cases while decompressing the nerve stops the carpal tunnel syndrome from getting worse, full recovery of sensation may not be possible. Often this is seen in patients who have muscle wasting noted prior to surgery and in those with longstanding complete numbness and elevated two-point discrimination. Of course there are many in these categories that improve despite having very severe cases.

Having a severe case where you are not sure if you'd have full recovery is not a reason to put off surgery, as progression is likely if nothing is done.

How about my strength?

This is a very difficult question as there are many reasons why a hand with carpal tunnel may not feel as strong. It may be that the decreased sensation in the fingers prevents someone from knowing how tight to hold and object and that object is dropped more easily. With return of sensation or even a slight improvement in sensation, dropping objects becomes less of a problem. Some severe cases of carpal tunnel can be associated with atrophy in the muscles of the hand. In some severe cases, this muscle will never fully recover. However despite loss of muscle, function can still be preserved. In very severe cases a suregon may recommend a tendon or muscle transfer to improve function.

So the short answer is its variabole, the long answer above. The best thing is to ask your surgeon what to expect.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. ...Read more

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Is it normal for my fingers to be numb and hot after carpal tunnel surgery?

These are signs : Of nerve inflammation which is common after this type of injury. It should resolve in a few days but may even take weeks. Talk to your surgeon. ...Read more

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How long does it generally take your hand to heal after carpal tunnel surgery?

How long does it generally take your hand to heal after carpal tunnel surgery?

It depends...: In my practice, i allow patients to return to routine activities of daily living the same day of surgery. I encourage typing and light gripping immediately. The bandage is removed after a week, at which time the incision could be washed normally and dressed with a bandaid (avoiding submersion for total of 3 weeks). Load bearing and heavy gripping (manual labor) is resumed usually after 4 weeks. ...Read more

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Is it normal for your index finger to swell and hurt 6 months after carpal tunnel surgery?

Is it normal for your index finger to swell and hurt 6 months after carpal tunnel surgery?

No: Time to get that checked out. Hard to say what is wrong without an exam. It may not be related to the cts. ...Read more

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Is hand swelling normal after carpal tunnel surgery?

Is hand swelling normal after carpal tunnel surgery?

Yes: Initially swelling would be normal. Elevating your hand and moving your fingers should help with this. After several weeks, there should not be hand swelling. Some wrist swelling at the incision site may be normal though for 6 weeks.. ...Read more

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I'm experiencing acute pain 13 days after carpal tunnel surgery in my left hand. I'm wondering if I should go get it checked? Appearance is normal.

I'm experiencing acute pain 13 days after carpal tunnel surgery in my left hand. I'm wondering if I should go get it checked? Appearance is normal.

Pain hand: Acute pain, yes there can be an infection or another issue, call your doctor. Other things such as arthritis at th base of the thumb, or irritation from prolonged dependency on splints may be suspect as well. By speaking to your surgeon directly they can determine if anything else needs to be done. Often this can simply be a phone call but you must call to start the evaluation process ...Read more

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Is pain in the palm of my hand and my pinky normal after carpal tunnel surgery about 3 weeks post op?

Is pain in the palm of my hand and my pinky normal after carpal tunnel surgery about 3 weeks post op?

Could be: The pinky finger, not so much, but the palm, especially the middle of the palm, yes. In fact, different sensations could occur. There could be an aching or tightness, or a feeling of pins and needles or an electrical feeling there.

What does it feel like?

It may be that it improves over time. The nerves will continue to heal now that they are not being compressed. ...Read more

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I have pain in arm from neck to finger tips since having stitches removed after carpal tunnel surgery ?

Neck pain: You may have a pinched nerve in the neck that was mimicking the carpal tunnel syndrome. Alternatively, releasing the median nerve at the wrist may have uncovered the pinched nerve in the neck. You may need an MRI of the cervical spine to confirm a pinched nerve in the neck. Physical therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and neck traction may relieve the pain in the neck and arm. ...Read more

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Tell me about successful carpal tunnel surgery?

Tell me about successful carpal tunnel surgery?

Good results: Carpal tunnel surgery is an option if you have been thoroughly evaluated by a specialist, the diagnosis has been confirmed with nerve studies and you have failed appropriate conservative measures. Having said that, the surgery had a good success rate. ...Read more

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Has anyone had carpal tunnel surgery with local?

Yes: This can be done if necessary. We will often do this for pregnant women due to concern for the fetus and any drugs that may affect it. Also people too sick for anesthesia. ...Read more

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How long should I wait til I have carpal tunnel surgery?

Severity: It depends on the severity of your symptoms and functional abilities. If atrophy has set it or you are not capable of completing daily activities without simple modifications it may be time to seek relief. ...Read more

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What can you expect during recovery from carpal tunnel surgery?

What can you expect during recovery from carpal tunnel surgery?

Good things: Usually an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia with light sedation so home fairly soon after the procesure. Sutures usually are in for about two weeks but during that time the hand can be used for most things. Pre-operative discomfort should be relieved fairly soon after surgery with full sensation and strength somewhat more variable. A good operation if you need it. ...Read more

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I had Carpal Tunnel surgery in 2012 but now symptoms return. What is going on? Should I be concerned?

Recurrent carpal tun: All problems can recur if one resumes the activity which created the problem in the first place. You should be seen by an upper extremity specialist. Many times the diagnosis needs to be accurate. I.e. One may have compression of the nerves from the neck and or brachial plexus , which may also need to be treated. Be sure that conservative treatment is initiated first . Perhaps a second opinion . ...Read more

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What are good exercises to prevent carpal tunnel surgery?

What are good exercises to prevent carpal tunnel surgery?

None: There are tendon and nerve gliding exercises that have been described. I have not found these very effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. You can try doing exercises for a period of one month to 6 weeks. If you're carpal tunnel symptoms are not resolved i would consider surgery. ...Read more

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How can I tell if I have an indication for carpal tunnel surgery?

How can I tell if I have an indication for carpal tunnel surgery?

Constant symptoms: Once symptoms have been constant for 6 months, it's hard to resolve them with non-operative treatment. Loss of muscle bulk in the thumb or complete loss of sensation in the digits is an indication for operative treatment. Oral/injectable steroids, splints and or therapy are used to treat symptoms. If symptoms continue after these treatments, surgery is indicated. ...Read more

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What to expect from carpal tunnel surgery under local anaesthetic?

What to expect from carpal tunnel surgery under local anaesthetic?

Just slow down: For most patients, they are able to gradually resume most normal activities around 6 weeks after surgery. Most do not require occupational therapy on the hand. However, ot can be helpful if the recovery is slow. Your hand will be sore and possibly swollen for the first few weeks. Fortunately, most patients have a very good outcome. ...Read more

Dr. Jeffrey Wint
970 doctors shared insights

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Definition)

A medical condition due to compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist at the carpal tunnel. The main symptoms are pain, numbness, and tingling, in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side ...Read more


Dr. Kevin Vaught
225 doctors shared insights

Carpal Tunnel Surgery (Definition)

Carpal tunnel is when the median nerve gets pinched at the level of the wrist. This "pinching" is done by the transverse carpal ligament which is longitudinally split during surgery. This can be ...Read more