Last month I went under the knife in hopes of fixing my ulnar nerve problems. It has been a month now and here is how I am doing since my Ulnar Nerve Surgery.

Ulnar Nerve Surgery | My Hot Southern Mess

I last left off when I was just shy of 1 week post op, my arm was still wrapped and somewhat splinted.  I wore a sling the majority of the time. Losing the majority of the use of my dominant hand really had me down but I kept telling myself it will be worth it in the end. My pain was minimal as long as I didn’t do something I shouldn’t and I was only taking Motrin as needed. I kept a pillow nearby to rest my arm and at night I was still sleeping on my back with my arm propped on the pillow.  At one-week post-op, I hit a bump on my road to recovery, I had developed a rash. My arm had itched since surgery, but it got even worse and I could feel the rash just under my dressing at the top of my arm. To the doctor, I went for a wound check where I discovered I had an allergic rash of sorts to either what they use on your arm or my dressings. What can I say, It’s always an adventure for me. The positive of this was the nurse took off my dressing and my arm was no longer “splinted”. I was given permission to use my arm a little more. I was told I was healing well. This was also my first time seeing my actual incision as well. I was surprised. My incision was actually quite small, nothing at all like I had researched.

The next week I began to use my arm more and more but I still had difficulty doing simple things. Simple things like using my right hand to eat. My strength was coming back but it was far from what it should be. My pain was still minimal and I had “tightness” in my pinky finger. I was happy to get to my 2 week post op visit because that meant the stitches were coming out. That was my next biggest step in recovery. According to the nurse that took out my stitches mine were in there tight. It was a world of difference once they were finally out.

I then saw my doctor and we briefly talked about how I was doing and my surgery. This is when I learned I did not have a Ulnar Nerve Transposition. I only had a Ulnar Nerve Decompression. If the decompression does not work I will have to go back in for a transposition. As for my incision size, if you google you will notice it is smaller than many you will find online. My doctor uses the smallest incision he can and finds the larger incisions are often unnecessary.

My surgeon did not feel I need physical therapy and I was sent on my way being told to take it easy. It is going to be about 6 months until I really know if the surgery helped. I haven’t really run since my surgery but I have walked to include pacing a half marathon. Lifting things is still iffy. A full milk jug is not yet my friend. Doing my hair was a workout for my arm. I do have some incisional soreness still and leaning on my elbow is a big no-no. At times I will forget I had surgery and go to lift something and learn real fast I should not have done that. I am slowly getting more function back in my ring and little finger too. I can only imagine what it will be like in a few more months. I just have to keep reminding myself to pace myself and to allow myself to heal. There will be good days and bad days. I just need to try to be optimistic for now.

Ulnar Nerve Surgery | My Hot Southern Mess

3 Comments on Ulnar Nerve Surgery | 1 month

  1. Hi, thanks for your article. I am 4 weeks post op and still cannot fully straighten my arm. Does this seem normal to you?

    • Yes, it could be normal sepending on the surgery you had and the method your doctor used. I had a smaller incision which allowed me to heal faster. If you are concerned, I would ask your doctor.

  2. Hi I recently had an ulnar nerve decompression & transposition surgery in my right elbow which is also my dominant hand. Today is my first post op appointment since surgery which was 2 weeks ago. I still have my arm bandaged it looks just like yours.
    I was wondering I know it’s been a few years since your surgery but how has the recovery been & how do you feel now since you had your surgery?
    I’m asking because I’ve had a terrible experience so far, a lot of pain, swelling, unrelenting tingling & numbness in my hand but mostly my ring & pinky finger.
    I’m hoping that things get better & there’s light at the end of the tunnel but I don’t know anyone else who also had surgery on their ulnar nerve in their dominant hand like you
    Any information you can give me would be appreciated
    Thank you

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