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4 Tips For Taking Care Of Yourself After Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery When You Live Alone

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If you are getting ready to have carpal tunnel release surgery and live by yourself, you may have some concerns about how you will deal with taking care of yourself during the first couple of weeks when your hand will be bandaged. If so, use one or more of the following four tips for taking care of yourself after the surgery when you live alone.

Wrap Your Bandage Before Bathing

While your hand is still bandaged and stitches are still in place, you need to keep your hand from getting wet. However, you still have to keep yourself clean. During this time, you may want to switch to taking baths instead of showering. Since showers spray water, you run the risk of getting water on your hand.

Even if you do decide to bath, you still want to keep the bandage dry. To make sure this happens, wrap your hand with a plastic wrap or a grocery bag before you get into the bathtub.

Secure the bottom with tape so that the seams are not opened. For this, use microfoam tape. It is stretchy, water-resistant, and easy to remove when you are finished. You can find it in the pharmacy department or can request a roll from your hand surgeon.

Use Your Unaffected Arm to Move Yourself 

Whether you are getting in and out of the bathtub or your bed, you may normally use your hands and arms to move yourself around. However, while you are recovering from your carpal tunnel surgery, this action would put too much pressure on your hand, breaking open the stitches and causing you pain.

While you are raising or lowering yourself, get into the habit of using your unaffected arm. Before you do so, however, take your time and make sure you have shifted your body weight so that you are balanced on that side. Staying balanced will help keep you from slipping and falling.

Wear Pants with an Elastic Waistband

If you typically wear blue jeans or pants that have a button and zipper, this setup could prove difficult while you only have the use of one hand. Although you may eventually learn how to operate the zipper and use the button with one hand, you can make things easier on yourself by wearing pants with an elastic waistband.

Because you have no obstacles to getting dressed, you can get yourself ready more easily because you can push down and pull up the pants with one hand. To put them on straight, alternate between the sides. 

Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Go to the Bathroom

Along with making it easier to get dressed, wearing an elastic waistband can help you when nature calls. However, the time it takes you to pull down your pants will still be slower than usual.

While you only have use of your one hand, give yourself plenty of time to go to the bathroom. As soon as the urge strikes you, do not wait.

If you wait until you have to go very badly and are in a hurry, you may fumble and struggle to pull down even elastic-waisted pants. While you are trying to get them off, you risk having an accident. This possibility can be avoided if you go when you first realize you have to.

Using the above tips can help make your life easier when you live by yourself while you are recovering from carpal tunnel release surgery. If you have any questions, check out sites like and discuss your concerns with your hand surgery specialist to see if they have any further advice on how to take care of your bandaged surgical site while taking care of your personal needs.