View Full Version : Anyone have Carpal Tunnel surgery?

Joe Tonich
06-12-2003, 12:34 PM
Finally got tired of my hands being numb all the time and saw a doc. (I REALLY don't do doctors) about it. The tests came back that I have severe carpal tunnel and need both hands operated on. I'd like to have both done at the same time if possible and was wondering about how long it takes to heal. The doc said it's about a week but I still have to see the specialist. Just wondering if there's anything I should ask and what I should expect as in how long before I can go back to work. Not that I don't TRUST doctors but they sometimes don't tell you everything. DAMHIKT Just looking for info. or advice from someone who's been there.


Dave Arbuckle
06-12-2003, 1:34 PM
My Dad has to have both his done, some time ago. He wanted them both done at once, and his Doctor flat refused. When asked why, he said "how are you going to go to the bathroom?"

I know a lot of things have changed, but if the post-op instructions still include "don't use the hand that's been operated on", I would give that serious thought.

Personally, I would also want someone who makes their practice of this particular procedure, if possible. It is supposed to be technically challenging, I would want someone with a lot of practice.

Best of luck,

Bill Howell
06-12-2003, 5:24 PM
I have had both wrists done, at different times. I would not recommend having both done at the same time unless you have a spouse that is very very very willing to help. The recovery should be around a week, though you might want to give it a little longer before doing extremely heavy work.

Ted Calver
06-12-2003, 10:23 PM
I've had both hands done--one at a time. Don't recommend both at once for reasons of hygiene. My surgeries were before the endoscopic method was widely used and I sometimes have discomfort from the scar tissue in cold weather. My wife had both of hers done (one at a time) using the endoscopic method and she healed faster and has had fewer problems. The operations certainly make it easier to sleep at night. Good Luck

Robert Goodwin
06-13-2003, 11:14 AM
I would only reccomend this as a last resort. I was have some pretty bad wrist problems for a number of years, Yea, it can be pretty darn frustrating, because you use your hands for everything.. You would think that aleast you could get a break from the pain/numbness at night when you are not using them. Not the case, that is when it seems to be at it's worst. Anyway, preaching to the choir.

Alot of doctors you find make a diagnosis, if it is Carpal Tunnel the answer is Surgury. Again I am not against surgury, I just think it is a last resort as it cannot be undone. I found a doctor that specialised in CTS and he helped me rehab, and determining what I was doing that was causing the problem. He also laid out a stretching an conditioning plan to help loosed everying up in there. Alot of wrist/hand pain doesn't just come from the nerve being pinched in the wrist, but can come from neck and elbow, legs on and on. Being I sit at a desk all day, my flexebility was zero. Once I got into the stretching program the pain started to ease. It wasn't overnight by any means, but after about 6 - 8 months, I was able to go about my normal activites without pain. I still get a flare up every now and then, but it is usually because I got lazy on the stretching.

Again, I am not against sugury, but just thought I would share what I learned while I was going through this.

As far as doing them at the same time, I would not. It is hard enough when you have one wrist out of order.

Good luck,

Lee Schierer
06-13-2003, 3:56 PM
My brother in law had carpal tunnel surgery and is worse than before. He has constant pain and can barely lift anything that weighs more than a few ounces. My Dad went the therapy route and it worked well for him.

If I do a lot of nail pounding, like when I was building my garage, then my wrists bother me for a day or two. My method is to avoid the action that produces the problem. I don't pound lots of nails so I don't have a problem.

Tim E. Gant
06-13-2003, 6:24 PM
I had bad carpal tunnel in my left hand and less severe in my right. The surgen told me it would take six weeks to get back to normal. I was right in the middle of a large commission and could'nt afford to close down that long. A friend reccommended accupunture. I'm not big on that sort of thing but thought what the hell, lets give it a week or so. My left hand was so bad that I could'nt open my hand fully. The first four sessions and I noticed nothing. On the fifth day as I was driving home I looked and my fingers opened up like a flower. I was blown away. A few more sessions and I was good to go. It's been three years now and I'm still fine. I've changed the way I do some things, like breaking up repetitive opperations , and I wear anti-vibration gloves (highly reccomend) anytime I use a sander. I would do surgery if I had to, but I'd try other options first. Good luck.

Mike Evertsen
06-15-2003, 10:08 PM
I have had carpal tunnel since 1978 I was checked again in 1997 I was told then in 2 years my left hand would be useless my right not much better,,,here it 2003 I had nothing done yet yes there are times I sit with tears in my eyes the pain is so bad but I treat it myself with moist heat and ibiprofin then I'm fine for awhile,,,,
until they get it right I won't go for surgiry,,I have known more that came out worse than when they went in,,,,,I still work and do woodworking and all the work around the house,,,

Joe Tonich
06-16-2003, 5:05 PM
Thanks to all,

I'm gonna check out my options on this. I don't know about accupuncture but what the hey. It just gets to be a pain when you drop things because you can't feel them and can't tell if your actually gripping them or not. A friend of my wife's has it and her wrists are in braces and it's not really helping her. She's against getting cut also. Then again, my sister had the surgery with no problems. Just wanted more opinions while determining what to do. Thanks for the information.