CARPAL TUNNEL RELEASE POSTOP INFO
- Seven days prior to surgery, please do not take any anti-inflammatory NSAID medications (Celebrex, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Naprosyn, Advil, etc.) as this could prolong your bleeding time during surgery.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before surgery. This means nothing to drink the morning of surgery except you may take your normal medication with a sip of water if needed. This includes your blood pressure medicine, which in general should be taken. Consult your surgeon or primary care doctor regarding insulin if you take it.
- Please do not be late to check in on the day of surgery or it may be cancelled.
- Please bring your preoperative folder with you to the surgery and have it when you check in.
- If you have a copy of your MRI or x-rays please bring these with you to the surgery even if your surgeon has seen them already or might even have a copy.
- Surgery may be cancelled if we do not have your radiographic images.
- Please be aware that smokers are recognized to have a significantly higher risk of postoperative wound healing problems, as well as operative and postoperative bleeding. Smokers must understand and agree to discontinue smoking for at least two weeks before and after surgery. Although it helps to stop smoking for several weeks before and after surgery, this does not eliminate the increased risk resulting from long-term smoking.
- Minimize activity on the day of surgery.
- Elevate the surgical hand and apply an ice pack every hour for 20 minutes, for the first 48 hours. After that, elevate and apply ice 2-3 times/day until the swelling goes down. Place a thin towel between the ice bag and your skin. Do NOT use heat.
- Once the initial surgical dressing is removed, you may use the hand and wrist as tolerated for light activity. You are encouraged to bend the wrist, elbow and fingers as soon as the initial surgical dressing is removed.
- Avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling any object greater than 5-10 pounds for the first 10-14 days. Do not use exercise equipment until your doctor allows you to do so.
- Your dressing applied in the operating room should remain on, dry, and intact for 24 hours following surgery. You may shower, but keep the dressing dry by covering the area with a plastic bag.
- After surgery, the hand is wrapped in a bulky dressing. The stitches are removed 10-14 days after surgery. Protect the wound with a clean gauze and light bandage for 3 days following surgery (change daily or when soiled).
- Following removal of the dressing at 3 days you may shower and let water run over the incisions.
- Do not scrub the wound. Let water run over the incision, then pat dry with clean towel.
- Do not soak in a bathtub, hot tub or pool until your follow-up appointment to ensure the incision and wound has healed sufficiently.
- Take your regular medications as prescribed.
- Tylenol can be taken as needed.
- Narcotic pain medications are prescribed if Tylenol is inadequate.
- You should not let pain get out of control before taking medication or it will be less effective.
- We will NOT refill pain medications over the weekend or after hours. Anticipate the need for medication refills and give at last 1-2 business days for refill notifications.
- Narcotic pain medications are very constipating, be proactive with stool softeners and laxatives.
- A high fiber diet is recommended
- Call the office if you do not already have your routine postsurgical visit 10-14 days after surgery. Other follow-ups will be scheduled as needed.
- Please call your physician’s office immediately with any problems or go to the emergency room if:
- Fever over 101 degrees.
- Yellow, green or foul smelling drainage
- A large red area around the incisions.
- You suspect an allergic reaction to medications or dressing materials.
- This could be shortness of breath, a rash or redness, hives, etc.