Very tight stiff post operation scaring

Randy
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I had open carpal tunnel release surgery three week ago. Pain is minimal and mobility is 100 percent. I am concerned that my scaring on the incision may be deep and excessive. It feels like I have a large thick 1 inch wide stiff rubber band under my incision that stretches from where my wrist bends up to almost the middle on my palm. It almost feels like my fingers tendons are sewn to my incision but if this were the case my fingers would not be able to move.
When my surgeon was finishing up with the procedure he flattened my hand on the table and initiated some sort of aggressive scaping on my palm for about 5 seconds. After which he turned my hand sideways and irrigated with a solution to rinse out debris. I could not see what was done but I could feel the scaping based on pressure and hear the noise. I am not sure if this is why my scar feels so tight or if the tight stiff feeling is normal. My main concern is this feeling will not go away and eventually over fill the carpal cavity and cause pain in the future.

Regards

I haven't found anyone else concern about so I suspect it is not normal.

jeremydpbland
Online

It's always hard to know exactly what someone else is describing in terms of subjective sensation, especially with sensations which are not everyday familiar things like pinprick or burning. At this fairly early stage after surgery there will still be an active inflammatory reaction in response to what is, fundamentally, an injury, so these incisions are often surprisingly uncomfortable, though some patients also seem to get away with it scot free and are back doing carpentry 48 hours after surgery - no two patients ever have quite the same experience in medicine. As long as your original CTS symptoms have resolved satisfactorily and the scar is not gaping open there is probably no major cause for concern at 3 weeks. Many surgeons seem to feel that scar massage is a good idea but I have to say the evidence for it is rather limited. Is your surgeon planning any form of follow-up? JB

Randy
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No, after the stitches were removed at the second week he said no follow up would be needed. I mention the stiff rubber band stretching feeling under my skin at my wrist but he said it was normal. I am surprised no one on the web has reported this feeling. One thing I noticed, is after a shower the feeling completely goes away and feels normal for about 5 minutes and then the restrictive tight feeling returns. It is like water soaks into the scar and temporarily lubricates it. If this is true, and my palm will eventually feel normal again, it would have been nice for my surgeon to take a little more time explain this to me.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to my surgeon that I am not experiencing numbness and pain that other users of this site have explained after carpal tunnel release surgery.
I am also grateful to you for taking the time to respond to my concerns.

Regards Randy

It is now 3 months since my open carpal release surgery. I am writing a follow up for anyone experiencing similar stiffness. The stiff feeling is now gone and my wrist now feels normal. The occasional stabbing/tearing in my palm has now almost completely gone away. My gripping strength is almost 100 percent and I expect it will eventually reach 100 percent. I really couldn't find the post surgery input from people I was looking for so I hope this may help.
The only draw back is I really notice the scar when pressing my palm against a surface. It is still a little soar when a lot of pressure is applied. You would not have this with the endoscopic surgery option. Its just something to consider when deciding which surgery option to go with.

Randy

jeremydpbland
Online

I have heard other patients describing what may well be the same sort of sensation but as I said it's very  hard to be sure what someone else is feeling. Our surgeons recommend vigorous scar massage with a moisturising cream but I have to say the evidence behind most recommendations for post-operative care is of very low quality. JB 

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