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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10

    Recovery after carpal tunnel surgery

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    I have tried to avoid it but now it is imminent. I am having carpal tunnel release surgery (endoscopic). If you had the surgery, what was your recovery period like? How long before you were riding again and are you still troubled by your symptoms? I ride a road bike.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    In November 2008 I had that same surgery on my right hand (really, I need both hands done, but I'm left hand dominant and wanted to do it on my non-dominant hand first and also because it was worse).
    Anywho- the recovery took a while. Luckily I had all winter to recover and work on getting back. Riding the bike took a good couple months to be able to put the slightest pressure at all on the handlebars. About 4 months out I was able to ride for short periods (and hour or so) with little pain. By about 7 months out I was pretty much back to normal. I have a tri bike, tho, and was lucky that I could lay down and give that hand some rest as needed. It took me longer to get back to riding my upright commuter bike normally again (I didn't have a regular road bike at the time).
    It was about 6 months before I could do a "girl" push up, and even two years later, I have trouble doing more than about 5 full pushups without a rest for that hand.

    I massaged the scar area daily, but not as faithfully as I should have. There will always be scar tissue there, but if I had massaged it multiple times a day like it was suggested I'm certain it would have healed faster and minimized the amount of scar tissue that accumulated.

    When is your surgery?
    The best part is learning how to pull up your pants and get dressed one handed. I had to ask a co-worker to button my pants one time because I couldn't do it (about 5 days after surgery- that was not my finest moment). I'm sure I was quite the sight.
    Last edited by Tri Girl; 02-14-2011 at 12:10 PM.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10
    Tri Girl,

    I am sooo grateful for your reply. Your story has been the most useful for me as I prepare for the unexpected. I am so sorry you had to go through that ordeal, and I am in awe that you went back to work so quickly.

    My surgery is February 28. I know I must be patient, and I am hopeful for a full, albeit slow, recovery.

    I will follow your advice. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    metro Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    8
    I think I must have lucked out. I had a carpal tunnel release done endoscopically on both hands (not simultaneously), but I was able to use my hand to dress and so forth a couple of days post op. With my left hand, I was out cycling short distances (10 miles or less) three weeks after surgery with support of an ace wrap. My right hand took a little bit longer - a month maybe? I am right hand dominant, and it did take longer for my right hand to feel better compared with my left. I had residual post op aching for two months for my left hand, and maybe three months on the right.

    I literally noticed a big difference in the way my left hand felt on the way home from the surgery center. The change in my right hand wasn't as noticeable as quickly, but I am basically symptom free now.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    You know what? I'm an idiot. I didn't have the surgery done endoscopically.
    I had traditional surgery. Duh!!! I missed that *minor* detail...

    It seems that the recovery time for endoscopic release is MUCH faster than the slicing open of the hand (that explains why mine took so much longer than neo93's). Hopefully it won't take you as long as it took me.

    The good news? I couldn't swim much further than about 1000 yds without my hands going completely numb. Since surgery, my right hand doesn't go numb AT ALL. Now I only have slight issues with lefty, but righty is just fine. That's reason enough for me to want to do lefty some day.

    Good luck with your surgery!!! Keep us posted on your progress.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10
    Updates are helpful, right? so here goes: I made steady progress following my surgery. Pain for one week, bandages for two, soreness for about a month, and riding again in six weeks. I have no numbness anymore while sleeping or riding, and I am sorry I waited so long to have the surgery in the first place. Will probably do my left hand same time next year.

 

 

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