Post Operative Instructions

Cubital Tunnel Release

Wound Care

  1. Keep your incision dry, but it is okay to take a shower and wash your hands. Please do not put your operative hand in a tub, pool, hot tub or sink of water for 2 weeks after surgery.
  2. Keep the surgical wound covered with a band aid or bandage for the first week. Please do not apply antibiotic ointment or use peroxide on the surgical site.
  3. Report redness, swelling or drainage to our office at 804.320.1339.

Activity

  1. The long arm dressing/splint will be removed at your first post-operative visit and replaced with an ace bandage. The ace wrap is used to protect the incision from direct pressure. You may remove it for hygiene but continue to wear it for 1 week. After 1 week, you may leave the incision open to air.
  2. Move your fingers frequently, straightening them completely, and making a full fist several times per hour. Move your elbow after you move your fingers with gentle bending and straightening.
  3. Refrain from pushing, pulling, lifting or grabbing with the operative arm and do not lift anything that weighs 5 lbs for more. (ex. A gallon of milk weighs 8 lbs)

What should I expect during the first month after surgery?

  1. You should experience minimal pain, which is usually relieved by resting your hand, taking over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  2. You may gentle move your elbow. DO NOT lift any weights in the hand as your move the elbow.
  3. Nighttime awakening (related to your cubital tunnel syndrome) usually goes away soon after surgery.
  4. Numbness and tingling may linger for a short while, but improves with time after surgery. For severe cases, recovery of sensation may take up to two years and sometimes may be incomplete.
  5. It is common to have mild swelling at the surgical site, but usually is not associated with pain or redness.
  6. It can take anywhere from 4-6 months to regain strength in the arm after cubital tunnel surgery. Please make an appointment to be seen if you having concerns.