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Carpal Tunnel Release

You have just undergone a carpal tunnel release procedure. This is because you had symptoms of carpal tunnel compression. This is caused by tightness in the carpal tunnel, a confined space in the wrist, through which a major nerve to the hand (median nerve) passes through. 

The following is a picture of the median nerve passing into the hand and the area at which it is affected in carpal tunnel syndrome. 

carpal tunnel syndrome.jpg

Despite releasing and freeing up the nerve, symptoms of carpal tunnel does not usually resolve immediately, and may take weeks to months to improve. 

Think of this like a kinked garden hose under a garage door. The garden hose may have been kinked for a long time. Once the garage door is lifted and the garden hose freed, there may still be a partial blockage due to indentation on the hose. As time passes, the indentation will improve and so will the flow of water through the hose. 

As your body heals from surgery, there is a risk of scar build-up around the nerve and tendons. For this reason, it is important to do the following nerve/tendon glide exercises.

Please perform the following sequence of hand motions 10 repetitions, 5 times per day.

tendon and nerve glide exercises.png

Your wound will have been closed with sutures. On top of this there will be sticky dressings that are water resistant (but not water proof). The hand will then be wrapped with bandage. 

Leave the bandage on until you see Kemble at the first post-operative check up. At this time he will remove the bandage for you and trim any sutures/ends. Please do not let the hand get wet until this time. This may require wrapping plastics bag over the arm for showers/bathing. 

It is normal to have MORE numbness and tingling immediately after the surgery. This may be due to local anaesthetic or a nerve block performed by the anaesthetist to numb the arm during surgery. It is normal to experience a relatively sudden increase in pain once the local anaesthetic or nerve block wears off. This typically happens between 10 - 18 hours following surgery. Please take oral pain killers as needed if this happens.

Most patients can resume light activities straightaway after surgery, but do not perform heavy lifting, gripping, or gasping at this stage. 

If you notice sudden increase in pain after 3 days, or an increase in drainage from the wound, or increasing redness or swelling after the sutures are removed, then please notify Kemble's team. 

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