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Carpal tunnel release procedure

Post-Op images & pain by Ged Keeley

The operation is called a "Carpal Tunnel Release”. It is a relatively minor operation and can be done on an outpatient basis. The basic steps are as follows: ·

  • Step 1: A Small incision less than 2 inches is made at the base of the palm of the hand.
  • Step 2: An incision is made through the structure called the Palmar Fascia. It rests under the base of the skin. Taking full note as to where the Median nerve is to prevent damage it is gently moved out of the way by the surgeon.
  • Step 3: Once the Median Nerve is out of the way a cut with a scalpel is done on the Transverse Carpal Ligament. Once the Transverse Carpal Ligament is cut the pressure on the Median Nerve is terminated.
  • Step 4: Once the Median Nerve is checked to be satisfactory the skin incision ss sutured.

The Transverse Carpal Ligament is not sutured. It remains open. The gap in the Transverse Carpal Ligament will slowly over time refill in with scar tissue. After Surgery, most patients will have some use of their hands. Most patients are able to fully use their hands within Six to Ten weeks of the Surgery and are able to resume normal lives free of pain, as long as they do not go back to putting a great deal of stress on their wrists again.

Moderate stress, with safeguards is fine. One of the major draw backs to standard, open carpal tunnel release is the slowness of recovery in the palm side surgical scar. Often, the 2 inch palm side scar would remain sensitive to direct pressure for approximately six to eight weeks. In the working patient, this scar sensitivity could hinder returning to normal work activities.

Ged Writes:

hi Paul

just saw your article on cts on the drum dojo website. So I decided to send you the pics taken after I had a carpal tunnel release.They were taken on my phone!! so sorry about the quality

I have just started to drum again 6 months after the op.I had been off them for two years!!

I still feel like I have a slice of plastic in my hand where the scar is, but it is no longer painful to drum. although I have changed the way I play slightly.
I now play a little lighter and don't clench my fists as much. I did have a habbit of breaking cymbals so it has probobly done me a favour (in some weird zen type way!)

I found the exercises that roger gave the link for painful though, but due to stretching the tendons. ( I'm falling apart man!)

anyway

hope you like my scar (almost invisible now)

Ged"