Should I do both hands at the same time for carpal tunnel surgery?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

I have to say, as someone who has gone through carpal tunnel surgery, I strongly advise against having both hands done at the same time. I know it might seem tempting to minimize downtime and get it over with all at once, but trust me, it’s not worth it.

First of all, the recovery process after carpal tunnel surgery can be quite challenging. It involves wearing a splint or a brace for several weeks, restricting your hand movements and activities. Having both hands operated on simultaneously means you won’t have the use of either hand during this recovery period. Simple tasks like brushing your teeth, eating, or even using the restroom can become extremely difficult and frustrating.

Furthermore, the pain and discomfort after surgery can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience more pain than others, and it can be challenging to manage that pain when both hands are affected. Pain medication can help, of course, but it’s important to remember that relying solely on medication for an extended period is not ideal.

Another factor to consider is the risk of complications. Although carpal tunnel surgery is generally safe, like any surgical procedure, there is always a risk of complications such as infection, bleeding, or nerve damage. By having only one hand operated on at a time, you reduce the likelihood of complications affecting both hands simultaneously.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the recovery period after carpal tunnel surgery is crucial for rehabilitation and regaining strength and function in the affected hand. Physical therapy exercises are typically recommended to help with this process. If both hands are operated on at the same time, it becomes challenging to perform these exercises effectively, potentially leading to a slower and less successful recovery.

I understand the desire to minimize downtime and get back to normal as soon as possible, but rushing the process by having both hands operated on simultaneously can have detrimental effects on your overall recovery and well-being. It’s better to be patient, take the necessary time to recover fully from one surgery before considering the other hand.

In my personal experience, I had my surgeries done separately, with a few months in between. it meant a longer overall recovery time, but it allowed me to focus on rehabilitating one hand at a time and regain function more effectively. It was definitely the right decision for me, and I encourage others to consider the same approach.

While the idea of having both hands operated on at the same time may seem appealing, I strongly recommend against it. The challenges and risks associated with simultaneous surgeries outweigh the benefits of minimizing downtime. Take the time to fully recover from one surgery before considering the other hand, and prioritize your overall well-being and successful rehabilitation.