Interviewer: What are some of the examples of therapy or exercises that I might be doing?
Dr. Sarim Mir: These exercises are very simple to do. The first exercise is for patients to stretch the affected hand and fingers and do it for about 10 seconds and 5 times on each hand.
There’s also an exercise in which patients will simply stretch their fingers and bring the fingers back into a fist.
Third exercise is a range of motion exercises for the fingers. Big corporations who have warehouses with assembly lines require their workers to do these exercises before starting their work. They also take frequent breaks and actually have a team leader who creates/handles the exercises for the other workers.
The Risks and Recovery Time Associated with Carpal Tunnel Surgery
Interviewer: What are some of the risks of surgery and what is recovery time for surgery?
Dr. Sarim Mir: The biggest risk happens when people don’t have the surgery on time. If somebody has persistent symptoms on the hand and their symptoms are getting worse with time—their biggest risk is that they will have permanent damage and even if they undergo surgery the damage will not get better. So that is really, by far, the biggest risk.
When carpal tunnel surgery is done by an experienced surgeon the chances of complications are very low. Each time a surgeon operates there are some risks; however, when in the hands of an experienced surgeon the risks are very low. With modern surgical techniques, they make a tiny incision and does the operation with the scope. When I first began my practice I have seen and learned that surgeons would make incision which was several inches long but that practice has stopped.
For Carpal Tunnel Surgery the Recovery Time is Often Dependent on the Patient’s Profession
The recovery time for carpal tunnel surgery will often depend upon on the patient’s profession. We have had patients who were teachers and nurses and these patients had been able to go back to work after 2 or 3 days. They will go back to work with their hand still in bandage but they wouldn’t really lose any time. As for our patients who work in factories or perform heavy labor, they sometimes can take up to 2 to 4 weeks to recover and be able to do the type of work they had been doing prior to the procedure. Unfortunately, as for patients who wait too long—who have had permanent damage—their recovery time could even be longer as it takes time for the nerve to heal.
The Common Professions Mostly at Risk of Developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Interviewer: What are some of the common professions that people have that they may develop carpal tunnel? For example, you mentioned someone who was a carpenter.
Dr. Sarim Mir: Oh yes, carpenters, plumbers, people who work in warehouses, hotel maids, people who work in the meat packaging industry, electricians, masons, and farmers. All those professions are at risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
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