Carpal Tunnel Surgery Part 2 (Left Hand)

Yesterday Dr. Hurley performed the release operation on my left hand.  Everything went very well (I was even quite a bit more awake during the surgery and remember some of it) and I’m now recouperating at home.  The pain after surgery with my left hand doesn’t seem to be as bad as the right and since I’m right-handed, having my left hand out of commission will surely be much easier than the right!  But, I really stressed myself out trying to get too much done over the last several weeks leading up to this surgery.

Scheduling this second surgery was difficult now that I know to expect a longer recovery period.  I had to finish moving out of my old studio first and then need to be recovered enough to lift heavy objects in order to move into my new studio at the end of October.  Plus, I need to be able to productively create more inventory for the One of a Kind Show in Chicago in early December that I’ll be exhibiting at.  So, it was either late this week or wait until next year.  Of course we had “super-sized” our healthcare coverage for this year so that these two surgeries would be fully covered and hadn’t planned to continue at that level next year.  So I feel like I just squeaked it into a pretty narrow window.

The good news is that my studio move (temporarily into my house) is complete and I got the front sun room that I’ll be using as my studio space further renovated (insulation installed and 75% of the drywall hung – THANK YOU, Steve, for helping with that!).  I actually hope to be painting in there some by Monday… but for now, I’m going to get some rest.


My rather swollen left hand resting on my icepack this morning… it will be nearly two weeks before this bandage comes off and the stitches come out!

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4 thoughts on “Carpal Tunnel Surgery Part 2 (Left Hand)

  1. suburbanmommy May 6, 2008 / 8:15 pm

    It’s very interesting to relate to someone’s blog personally. I found (I am also right handed) that the pain in my left hand was far worse but less annoying. did you bruise much? how long did they say for you to wait before going back to work?

  2. davidcastleart May 29, 2008 / 3:35 pm

    I’m assuming your questions are for after my surgery… I had very little bruising when my right hand was done, but a medium amount for my left (which really wasn’t that bad).

    As far as going back to work, my surgeon thought I could do some light work within a day or two, but I found that wasn’t realistic for me. I wasn’t supposed to lift any weight over 1 pound for 4 weeks, so that really limited what I could do. I felt good enough to type on my computer within several days, but the big, puffy bandage (which I think stayed on for 14 days) really made it hard to do much. I certainly wasn’t able to paint until after the big bandage came off.

    So I hope that helps you some – email me back if you have other questions. I’m happy to share my experience!

    Take care- David.

  3. Jessica September 1, 2008 / 7:06 pm

    Hi David!

    I’m about to have my first carpal tunnel release surgery…September 24th to be exact. I have 2 kids, 6 and 16 months…by the sounds of your experience, I guess I can expect not to do diaper changes for sometime. I’m rather stressed out about the surgery…both hands need to be done, but my right hand (dominant) will be first. Any tips for post op?

    Best regards,

    Jessica

  4. davidcastleart September 11, 2008 / 9:07 pm

    Jessica –

    I hope your surgery goes well… I’ve heard that people react differently to the surgery and recovery (and my right hand recovery seemed “better/faster” than my left).

    My post op tips would be to take things SLOW and not expect that you’ll do much of anything with your right hand for the first week. Even though I had my bandage on for about 2 weeks, I was able to use it for typing and writing – the big thing is to not lift any weight! I was also very careful to not get my bandage wet, since it would require a trip to the doctor to have it re-bandaged (so, showering is cumbersome – a bath at least for the first few days might be an easier approach). I also iced my hand for the first few days frequently to help with the pain and swelling.
    Overall, I’d say to give yourself a break and have some patience – it’s not major surgery, but it’s in a very sensitive location and takes time to heal! Wish I could help you out with your kids, but hopefully you’ll have someone around!

    Take care – David.

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