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Carpal tunnel released… now what?

carpal tunnel syndrome

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The Mid-levels (Nurse practitioners and Physicians Assistants at Kansas City Bone & Joint have combined efforts to give the top ten “need to know tips” after carpal tunnel surgery.


1. Elevate the hand above the heart to help reduce the amount of swelling.


2. Keep bandage clean and dry.


3. Work on gentle range of motion with your fingers- make a full fist and then fully extend your fingers. Do this multiple times throughout the day. (This will not harm your sutures).


4. Avoid heavy lifting. Stick with lifting about a cup of coffee or less.


5. It is common to have numbness and tingling after surgery due to local anesthetic and/or severe carpal tunnel compressions.


6. Once the sutures have been removed, around 7-10 days after surgery, it is OK to use soap and water over the area.


7. If steri-strips were applied do not pull them off, just let them peel off like a band aid does after it’s gotten wet. This may take a few days.


8. Do not submerge hand in water until the incision has completely closed.


9. Once the incision has completely closed, massage over the incision and palm to help break up scar tissue. Vitamin E oil or lotion may be helpful when massaging. This may be used to do for a few weeks or even a few months.


10. The palm can be sore for up to 4 months- it may feel like a deep bruise when applying pressure to the palm like when typing on the computer.


Author: Ann Coppage, PA-C

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