Post Op Advice

Advice Following Carpal Tunnel Release

How do I care for the dressing?

Keep the dressing dry and intact until the stitches are removed.

Do I need to take pain killers?

If you have any pain or discomfort, take some pain killers such as paracetamol or Ibuprofen, providing you are not allergic to them.  Please don’t take Aspirin or any medication containing Aspirin, e.g. Dispirin, as these can cause bleeding.

When do the stitches come out?

The stitches are removed after 10 to 12 days.

Please make an appointment  with your own Practice Nurse or with the Camborne & Redruth Hospital if you live in that area. (See details below):

Tel: 01209 318070 or 01209 318069  8am – 5pm Mon-Fri.

The hours of the clinic are:    8.45am – 1.30pm Mon – Fri

9am – 11.30am Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays)

How long do I wear the sling for?

Wear the sling for at least 3 to 4 days or until you are comfortable without it.  If you are sitting watching television or reading, you can take the sling off but you must put your hand up on pillows or cushions so that it is higher than your elbow.

What do I do at night?

Either keep your arm in the sling and sleep semi-upright or take it out of the sling and support it on pillows.  Once again, the hand must be higher than the elbow.

Do I need to do exercises?

Start doing finger exercises at least every hour after your operation.  Bend and stretch the fingers but don’t bend the wrist.  The exercises help to reduce any swelling and stiffness.  Intermittently, take the arm out of the sling and move the shoulder around.  Bend and stretch the arm before putting it back in the sling.

What if my fingers become swollen?

The most important way of preventing swelling of the fingers is to keep them up either in the sling, elevated on pillows or keep the hand up on your chest.

If, after a few days, you have discarded the sling and the fingers swell, it could be because the hand is being left down.  If this happens put it back in the sling or keep it up on your chest.

If you have a lot of swelling, please contact us so we can arrange for you to come and see one of our nurses.  If you are unable to see us, you will need to see your Practice Nurse so she can take the dressing down, inspect the wound and re-bandage your hand.

When can I bath or shower?

You can bath or shower the evening after your operation.  It is most important to keep the dressings dry.  Put a plastic bag over the operated hand or wrap it in cling film and keep it well out of the bath/shower area as much as possible.

What problems should I look out for?

If you have a lot of pain, swelling of the fingers and a possible temperature, you may have an infection.  Contact us as soon as possible.  If it is out of hours, contact Urgent Care Services on NHS 111.

If you have bleeding coming through the bandaging, apply pressure for 30 minutes and contact us as soon as possible.  If it is out of hours, contact Urgent Care Services on NHS 111.

Please contact us in the first instance, rather than your own surgery, on 01726 885104 if you have any queries or problems. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 08.30am – 16.30pm only.

If outside of these hours, then please contact Urgent Care Services on NHS 111.

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