The answer to this is that it totally depends on the patient’s wellness and whether the patient can drive confidently. According to a survey, people with minor carpal tunnel release surgery returned to driving within two to three weeks after surgery. And in the case of fracture fixation, this timeframe is extended to 6 weeks. The crucial factors in determining this duration are the movement of the hand and its fragility. The primary factor is ‘pain’ to decide whether the patient can drive or not.

So, keep reading this blog to know how long a patient can drive after carpal tunnel surgery. All information in this blog is derived from field experts (doctors), so you are assured that you receive authentic information.

Overview Of The Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Tendon repair, carpal tunnel release, and fingertip fixation, among others, are prominent causes for having carpal tunnel surgery. The reasons behind the occurrence of such syndromes are usually sudden injuries. 

When the carpal bones need fixtures, surgery is done using plates, screws, and other tools. Around 12 to 30 hours is the period for the process of wrist fixation by surgery. This process is not painful due to anaesthesia previously administered to the patient to numb the pain that may occur during the process. 

Since humans do a large part of daily tasks with their hands, it could be suspended for a few days for patients, depending on their injury severity.

Driving After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Usually, doctors recommend 4 to 6 weeks of rest after carnal tunnel surgery. However, it is entirely up to the patient’s condition. 

No scientific evidence exists that doctors have any medical liability in these cases due to any mishap. The reason is that doctors usually prescribe a minimum waiting period before resuming the trip. One cannot sue the doctor if the patient decides to drive at their convenience.

Why It Takes So Long?

People with carpal tunnel release surgery want to quickly resume their routine life, which is possible through physiotherapy after surgery. This therapy usually begins 7-10 days after surgery, depending on its severity and can end up to 3-4 months. Physiotherapy ensures the wrist moves without pain, and no concerns are left to be fixed. However, driving may be possible even during the therapy if the patient does not feel pain or stiffness.

Around 6 weeks are recommended because carpal tunnel surgery does not come alone. It includes many analgesics to relieve pain by stimulating drowsiness in a person. These medications are usually taken for 21 to 30 days. Since it stimulates drowsiness, the driver may lose balance or fall asleep midway while driving. So, the chances of accidents increase.

Since tools are inserted into the carpal bones, doctors recommend not to keep driving for this period. Tools cannot be removed until the patient can perform wrist movements without pain. The wrist remains stiff even after bandages and fixtures are removed. Doctors recommend not forcing the injured area during this condition.

Final Words

Minor surgery patients can return to driving within 21-25 days. However, when the severity level of the injury is higher, this timeframe needs to be extended to recover and return to the driver’s seat. Remember that no fixed formula exists, but we advise patients to be aware of their pain and stiffness and the effect of analgesics on the body. 

Acorn Private Clinic has Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons, and we offer the most reliable private carpal tunnel release surgery. Get your appointment today and get well soon to resume your routine life, especially driving!