I am now one month after my carpal tunnel surgery, so I thought I would give an update of how things went for me.
I had moderate to severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands; despite being right hand, my worst hand was my left, this is consistent with my arthritis always being slightly worse on the left side of my body,
My symptoms, as well as numbness and tingling, included loss of heat/cold sensation in my left fingertips, shooting and burning pain in both hands, arms and shoulders. The pain would mostly appear if I tried to sit still with my hands up (as in sitting at a desk or to drove a car), and every night at about 12pm, when I would hang one hand over the side of the bed, then after 20 mins I would be woken up by the other hand, and I would alternate position and grab another 20 min nap - repeat till 6am. There was also loss of range of motion in all my arm joints and even my neck.
A steroid injection initially worked, but it came back and the next time the steroid injection failed.
I had Ultrasound guided carpal tunnel release in both hands at the same time, on a Friday. Tiny nick in each wrist, no stitches. Local anaesthetic only. Steroid injection in each wrist to reduce post-surgery inflammation.
“Boxing glove” type bandages with steristrips and small dressings underneath stayed on for 24 hours. Minimal pain until these were taken off. Had a family member with me Friday to Monday, by Monday I was doing most things with my hands, including driving a car. Note that wiping one’s bottom, and cutting things with a knife are just the wrong angle and hurt (and still does a little), so I was glad I had lots of pre-made meals.
Results in terms of the nerve are subjectively very good - the range of movement in my neck and shoulders was immediately better / fixed, and in my hands improved within 2 days and back to normal in a week. The nerve pain was immediately fixed and has not returned. There is some remnant numbness and tingling in my left fingers, with very minor altered sensation in my right fingertips. I was warned this might happen as the severity of my nerve conduction studies indicated there may be damage to the myelin sheath, not just compression. I understand this is likely to repair itself slowly over the next year or so, as is minor “pillar pain” which is and ache I sometimes get in the base of my palms when I use them.
Overall, I am extraordinarily pleased with the surgery, and the recovery time,