Postop Wrist Carpal Tunnel
You will use a sling following surgery. This should be worn when you are not seated until you follow up in clinic.
Moving Your Wrist
You may gently move your elbow and shoulder following surgery. You will be placed in a soft dressing during surgery. Please keep it clean and dry and do not remove. You may begin gentle range of motion of your wrist and fingers as soon as you are comfortable. Use your hand only for light activity such as eating. DO NOT use your operative arm for lifting, pushing, pulling or carrying. Your surgeon will remove the dressing at your first clinic visit and explain how to progress your activity level.
Use a commercially available ice bag or fill a large plastic bag with ice and water. (Do not place a plastic bag directly on your skin, but place a towel on your arm in between your skin and the ice bag.) You can ice your wrist 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off throughout the day. Do not ice your wrist longer than 30 minutes at a time, as this can cause frost bite. Ice is most helpful in the first 3 days after surgery, but can help up to 2 weeks after surgery. We do not recommend that you use heat, as this can increase swelling.
Leave your dressing clean and dry and do not remove until your postoperative clinic visit. Your surgeon will remove the dressing and discuss wound care at that time.
You will be given a narcotic pain medicine (such as Percocet – oxycodone, Norco – hydrocodone, or Tylenol#3 – Codeine). We will prescribe a different medication if you cannot take these. Take this AS NEEDED only. Do not take additional Tylenol (sometimes called acetaminophen) with these medicines, as they already have Tylenol in them. You may SUBSTITUTE Tylenol for a narcotic pill if you choose to. Be certain that you do not exceed the maximum Tylenol dose as noted on the Tylenol bottle. Pain medicines often cause constipation, so you may want to purchase an over-the-counter stool softener (for example – Dulcolax, or you may also ask the Pharmacist) to take along with these medicines. It is best to take most of these medicines with some food, as they can all cause a little stomach upset.
You may have received Phenergan (promethazine) or Zofran (ondansetron). You may take these medications if you are having nausea or vomiting.
It is OK to take over-the-counter NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Naproxen, Aleve etc…) along with your pain medicine to increase the pain relief. You may take UP TO 4 Advil (800mg Ibuprofen) THREE times a day. You may take UP TO 2 Aleve twice a day.
You should have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon in about 2 weeks. You will also have an additional visit with the Physician’s Assistant within a few days of your surgery. Call (480) 964-2908 right away if you do not have an appointment already scheduled. We will check your incisions and remove any sutures at the 2-week visit. We will consider getting you into Physical Therapy if this has not been arranged, as many patients benefit from PT after elbow surgery.
Call our office at (480) 964-2908 with any urgent or emergent questions or concerns that you may have, or if you develop swelling in your leg with calf pain, swelling that will not go away when you elevate your leg, a temperature above 101.4, or drainage from your incisions.
If you experience any of these symptoms: go to an Emergency Department close to your house: High fever (above 102.5), chest pain, difficulty breathing, fainting, or bleeding.