When you are suffering from cubital tunnel syndrome and need surgery, you may find yourself wondering what you can expect not just from the surgery itself but also from the recovery process after the surgery. Once your orthopaedic surgeon has successfully relieved the pressure on the nerve running down you elbow and to your hand, there are many different steps to the recovery process. Get to know more about what you can expect during recovery and what to watch out for so that you can heal quickly and overcome your cubital tunnel syndrome as soon as possible.
You Will Need To Keep Your Arm Immobilized For A Period Of Time
Immobilization is important after you go through a cubital tunnel surgery. After you get released to go home (usually the same day as the surgery unless there were complications), your arm will be put in a sling or other device to immobilize it.
It is important that you keep your arm in the sling as much as possible until your surgeon tells you it is safe to do otherwise. Moving your arm too much after surgery could cause complications and improper healing, rendering your surgery ineffective.
The Incision On Your Hand Will Probably Look Worse Than It Is
Cubital tunnel syndrome surgery (though not always) involves at least two incisions, one on or near the elbow and another in the hand. If you do have an incision in your hand, do not panic if it looks a little rough in the days or even the first few weeks after surgery.
The skin on your hand is thicker than elsewhere in your body and the incision for surgery goes deep into the hand. Redness around the incision is normal. The incision may also look as if it has a gap even after the stitches come out of it. This only means that the superficial layers of the hand have yet to heal. The muscle tissue and the deeper layers will already be closed and healed by that point. So, while the incision may look scary, infected, or as though it is not healing as well as your elbow incision, there there shouldn't be anything to worry about.
Be Wary If Your Forearm Swells Or Feels Hard To The Touch
A sign of trouble after a cubital tunnel surgery that many people may not recognize involves problems in the forearm. If the soft fleshy tissue of your forearm feels swollen in the weeks after surgery or becomes hard to the touch, you may have a post-surgical complication.
Inflammation and hardness in the soft tissues after surgery could be a sign of an infection in the arm. This usually calls for strong antibiotics administered intravenously and close monitoring until symptoms reduce. Swelling and a hard mass in the arm could also indicate blood clots. As such, if you notice these issues anytime after your surgery (even after your stitches are removed), contact your orthopaedic surgeon and/or head to an emergency room as soon as possible.
Now that you know a bit more about what you can expect after cubital tunnel syndrome, you can be as prepared as possible for the recovery process.
For more information, contact local professionals like Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester.