5 Recovery Risks and Side Effects of Carpal Tunnel Surgery

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Carpal tunnel is a widespread injury among people today. With the increased use of computers and typing becoming more and more prevalent for work, social hobbies, etc., it makes sense that carpal tunnel syndrome is becoming such a significant issue. 

Although carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful inconvenience, surgery is always a risk, as well. Therefore, it’s important to consider some risks and possible side effects of carpal tunnel surgery before committing to it. 

Re-injuring your wrist during recovery time

A significant recovery risk of carpal tunnel surgery is not allowing your hands to heal before trying to use them and re-injuring your wrist. A typical carpal tunnel surgery recovery time is estimated to be around 3 to 4 weeks, which is a long time to limit the use of your hand. 

If you try to use your hands before they are fully healed, you could risk re-injuring your carpal tunnel wrist and possibly making it even worse than it was before surgery. You need to be cautious, listen to your doctor’s advice, and allow full recovery time before using your hands freely.  

The risk of infection

Infection is always a risk when skin is cut and your internal organs/bones are exposed. Of course, after surgery, you will be stitched and wrapped up to avoid this exposure. However, sometimes infection can still arise if you’re not careful. 

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In order to avoid infection, be sure to leave the bandages on for the length of time prescribed by your doctor, and when you take the bandages off, clean the wounds properly. Since infections are one of the most common risks of any type of surgery, you must take all necessary precautions to avoid them. 

Bleeding around the incision

Another side effect of carpal tunnel surgery is bleeding. It’s common to experience some bleeding during and after the surgery, but if it continues for more than a few days, you should seek medical attention. 

Permanent tenderness where the surgery took place

Although it is rare, you may find that after carpal tunnel surgery, you feel a permanent tenderness in the area where the surgery took place. It shouldn’t affect your quality of life too much and may still be less painful than carpal tunnel syndrome, but it is something to consider. 

Reduced gripping strength in your wrists

Finally, a common side effect of carpal tunnel surgery is that you may experience reduced gripping strength in your wrists. Since your tendons and skin around that area have been damaged during surgery, they may not be able to grip as well as they could before the surgery. 

Reduced gripping strength may concern you if you participate in activities such as competitive weight lifting, archery, or boating that requires paddling. In contrast, however, if you don’t participate in these events, you may not even notice the difference in gripping strength. 

Before you go

Carpal tunnel can be a crippling injury, but luckily with surgery and lifestyle changes, there is relief. Consider these top 5 recovery risks and side effects before deciding whether or not carpal tunnel surgery is right for you.

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