Carpal tunnel syndrome is very painful and can have a debilitating effect on the individual who experiences it. Many people opt for an open carpal tunnel hand surgery as a way to relieve their pain.
This procedure begins with the physician severing the transverse carpal ligament. This causes the pressure that is put on the nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel to be released, thereby eliminating the pain and other symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
During the procedure, a small cut is made on the bottom of the palm of the hand. Through this incision, the doctor can locate the transverse carpal ligament. Once the ligament has been cut, the incision is closed using stitches. There is a small gap that is left in the hand where the ligament is cut. Over time, this gap is filled with scar tissue.
In the vast majority of cases, this procedure can be performed with local anesthetic. Patients who have this procedure done do not usually spend the night in the hospital but instead return home the same day.
Once hand surgery has been completed, stitches will be applied, and the hand will be wrapped. From ten days to two weeks after the procedure, the stitches will be removed, and the incision will continue to heal completely. Patients may experience pain and numbness for a few weeks or months after the hand surgery, or the pain may subside immediately. It is recommended that after this procedure patients avoid the strenuous use of their hands for about three months.
The amount of time that a patient will be away from work is dependent on a few factors. First, it depends on whether or not it was the patient’s primary or dominant hand that was operated on. If it was the dominant hand, it is likely that the patient will be out of work for some time. The second factor that will determine when a patient returns to work is the amount of effort they put into the physical therapy treatment they receive.
It is recommended that patients who have surgery on their non-dominant hand and do not have a job that requires them to use the hand that was operated on, return to work one or two days after the procedure. In most cases, however, patients will be out of work for one or two weeks.
If the hand surgery was performed on a patient’s dominant hand, and their work does require them to do repetitive movements, it may take between six and twelve weeks before they can return to work and do their full duty.
Reasons Why the Surgery Is Performed
Open carpal tunnel hand surgery is performed on people who have carpal tunnel symptoms that persist even though nonsurgical options were pursued. Patients who have loss of feeling, loss of coordination in their hands, reduced thumb strength, or are experiencing nerve damage are candidates for this procedure.
Most patients who go through open carpal tunnel hand surgery have reduced numbness and pain in their hand. In many cases, the symptoms are completely eliminated after hand surgery. This allows them to return to normal activity with an improved range of motion and less pain.
If you have carpal tunnel, hand surgery could help. At Real Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds and Werribee, we’ll work with you to determine the best course of treatment for your needs. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Stephen Salerno.