Carpal Tunnel Release
When you are discharged your hand will be bandaged. Under the bandage you will have an adhesive dressing (fixomul) over your sutures. Your hand will usually be numb due to the local anaesthetic. This will last some hours, sometimes even overnight.
One of the most frequent problems encountered after any hand surgery is stiffness. For this reason CTR patients are encouraged to try to get their hand moving ASAP. All that is required is repeated opening and closing of your hand whenever you can. Try to do this for 5 minutes every waking hour at least.
Dressings and Wound Care:
- In the first 24 hours the bandage should be left on to minimise bruising or bleeding and you should keep your hand dry.
- After 24 hours the bandage can be removed. The fixomul dressing should have adhered and sealed the wound so you can now get it wet in the shower and just pat it dry with a towel afterwards.
- Light use of your hand is OK after 24hrs. Avoid anything really dirty that might get through the dressing and cause infection.
- Leave the fixomul dressing intact as long as possible. If it gets too grubby replace it with more fixomul. You can purchase this at most pharmacies.
- The wound should be covered with fixomul for 3 weeks.
- CTR is not an operation that you can damage or undo by early use of your hand. Anything you can do with your hand that does not hurt too much is OK.
Use of your Hand after CTR:
- You can try any activity out to see if you can tolerate it without risk.
- Heavy gripping will hurt.
- Pushing with your palm will hurt.
- Impact (e.g. hammering) will hurt.
- There is a lot of variability and some people will be able to return to normal use of their hand much sooner than others.
Things to Watch Out For:
Infection is the main concern particularly in the first week. If you get a significant infection it is usually easily treated with antibiotics but it will often mean your hand will be sore for longer than usual. The usual indications of wound infection include.
- A late increase in pain.
- A late increase in swelling and stiffness.
- Stinging or throbbing pain in the wound.
- Pus oozing through the dressing.
If you have had sedation for this procedure:
The drugs used may still be in your system.
You must make sure you have a responsible adult to care for you at home after the procedure.
Until the following morning you should not:
- Drive a vehicle, ride a bicycle or operate machinery
- Make any important decisions
- Sign legal documents
- Drink alcohol