I was recently diagnosed with moderate to severe carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist (my fretting hand). My doctor is recommending surgery and told me it would be 6 - 9 months for full recovery.
My question to the community is; have any of you gone through this surgery and if so how long until you were able to play again? We’re you able to get back the level of play you were at before the surgery?
Allen, my wife went through that process and it didn’t take as long as 6-9 months to get back in action. Once she’d been through the rest period, measured in weeks, I don’t recall her having any problems.
@Mari63 if I recall rightly you had CTS on your left wrist?
@ChristAlone Hi Allen, I had CTS on my left wrist (my fretting hand) Aug 12/21, and was recovered enough to play a couple of campfire tunes at the Oct 16/22 Community Open Mic. I wasn’t back up to par yet, but I could play easy stuff. I think I started playing my guitar again after maybe 5 weeks (I don’t recall exactly), in very small 5 minute doses, with the agreement of my physio, considering that the movement was similar to some of my physio exercises. I’d say I was back to where I was playing wise by Christmas or earlier, so no more than 5 months. That said we all recover at our own pace, so your recovery may be very different. I hope all goes well.
I had a double carpal tunnel operation some years ago. I wasn’t playing regularly at that time I’m but 6 to 9 months seems very excessive for a recovery time. Maybe your doctor is hedging his bets. From what I recall once the scars from the surgery at healed after about 5 weeks I was pretty much back to normal. Back then I was heavily involved in martial arts and it wasn’t long before I was sparring or having strong workouts with a kick bag and no repercussions certainly nowhere near 6-months to recover. My advice though will be just take it gently and don’t take any risks. Best of luck with your surgery.
Thanks to everyone for the encouraging words. The doc said I should be able to go back to work the next day (I’m a web developer and work at the computer all day) but my typing will be limited. He also said he would more than likely allow me to go back to full activity after a month but not to expect a full range of motion. So hopefully it will be a short downtime from playing.
With summer coming I’m holding off on the surgery until fall. My wife and I like to kayak in the spring and summer, plus there is all the yard work, just too much going on to be out of commission for any period of time. My doc said he had no problem with waiting as long as it isn’t too long.
Well I finally pulled the trigger on this and had the surgery last Thursday. I wanted to wait until Winter when things start to slow down. So now I’m under doctors orders of no guitar for about a month. I figure this would be a good time to work on my strumming (open strings only) and my fingerpicking techniques and even picking individual strings.
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for exercises for my picking hand only.