Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery - Time Off For Business?

Business By Evoir Updated 25 Aug 2014 , 6:33am by SystemMod2

Evoir Posted 16 Aug 2014 , 4:50am
post #1 of 11

Hi, just wanting to hear from anyone who has had to have Carpal Tunnel surgery. Particularly, how much time off did you need from caking until you were fully recovered and could do everything normally again?

 

How much time should I be blocking off in my business diary to have the surgery and recoup enough to be back at work?

10 replies
Dayti Posted 16 Aug 2014 , 10:42am
post #2 of 11

Sorry to hear that Evoir. I have not suffered myself but I remember reading this blog and the girl had to have surgery. According to her, it didn't take long at all but I guess it might be different for everyone http://www.bottomlesstummy.com/post-operative-update/

 

Good luck, and I hope others come along to give you more advice. 

 

(That blog is worth reading some of the posts to see how they make pastries at Fauchon in Paris, especially the stripy eclairs!)

-K8memphis Posted 16 Aug 2014 , 11:47am
post #3 of 11

Ai too am wishing for a sound and healthful good as new recovery and some brilliant doctoring -- take the time you need - pushing it prolongs recovery --

big hugs and the most best to you

MimiFix Posted 16 Aug 2014 , 12:01pm
post #4 of 11

Evoir, I'm sorry to hear you're not well. Dayti is right, it's not the same for everyone. The amount of damage and the length of recuperation depends upon several factors, such as one's body and how much damage has been done to the median nerve. Laprascopic surgery is sometimes successful and sometimes not. That blog is only a reflection of one person's experience and we don't know about her follow-up.

 

My own story took years to get through. I had a total of five hand surgeries (three carpal tunnel and two "trigger finger") and ten years later I am certainly much better but unable to resume my baking business. I now teach, write, and consult. Opportunities often disguise themselves by presenting us with life-altering events.

 

If you have help, especially with any fondant work, you might be okay to start back in a month. But if you work alone, I hope you set aside at least six months before resuming a full schedule. You really need to see how you are able to cope. Best of luck.

JWinslow Posted 16 Aug 2014 , 1:20pm
post #5 of 11

So sorry to hear, Evoir.  I had carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand about 10 years ago (before my cake days).
I went to a hand specialist and had to have the full surgery.  At the time I was on a softball team and it was the middle of the season.  For me, and everyone is different, I was allowed to start catching/ throwing the ball in two weeks and batting in three weeks. I had 90% of the strength back in my hand within 5 months. I am very glad I had it done - never a problem since.  I don't know if my recovery is considered quick or slow - this was my experience with it.  I am also right handed so the recovery didn't seem too bad as my dominant hand was not affected.

 

Like Mimi said, though - Unless you have help,  to be able to resume fondant work, your doctors have may have to wait longer because you have to apply direct pressure to the area while kneading- much harder than swinging a bat.

 

Wishing you a quick and full recovery.

denetteb Posted 16 Aug 2014 , 2:35pm
post #6 of 11

 Unfortunately I can't answer your question but one thing you said gives me  pause...."fully recovered and could do everything normally again"?  You may or not ever be able to do everything normally again.  You should look at all of your tasks and how you do them.  Analyze what motions are involved and think of how you can do the actions with greater ease and more efficiently or you could be back in the same predicament.  Carpal tunnel surgery isn't always a cure all and the repetitive and force needed for caking can cause you to have more problems again after the surgery.  A good occupational therapist can help look at your job requirements and help make suggestions to modify the way you do things.  Some things to consider, can you change the consistency of your icing when piping  to make it require less force, try different size bags and how you hold them.  Using your non-dominant hand for some of the tasks.  Can you hire someone to come in and do the more cumbersome tasks, perhaps kneading fondant while you supervise and do other things nearby?   Look also at how you have your work space, how you position yourself at the computer when you are doing the business side of things, look at what other hobbies you do that could be exacerbating the carpal tunnel.  If you cake during the day and spend your free time typing a novel and knitting it all could just be too much for your body.

Evoir Posted 17 Aug 2014 , 3:46am
post #7 of 11

Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment- I really appreciate all your replies.

 

Before I had my cake business, I was a physiotherapist, so I think a lot of the damage that occurred to my dominant hand/wrist happened during those 10 years of fulltime heavy manual therapy work.

 

Caking was meant to be a bit easier on my body! Ha!

 

Funnily enough, I treated many a patient with carpal tunnel syndrome over those years, and I know it's the sort of thing that responds to rest and activity modification, and splinting at night (all stuff I have tried). But I also know that if all else fails, surgery is going to be inevitable in my case. Workplace ergonomic design isn't a factor - again its something I did professionally for years. 

 

The main issue for me is the kneading and rolling of fondant. If I could outsource THAT I think I could be fine. I'd hate to end up blocking out three months and then finding I still couldn't roll or knead fondant. Even now, I am heating up my fondant to knead and roll it to make it easier, but the tenosynovitis of my hand and finger flexors is still exacerbated every week at work :-(  

 

I wonder if buying a fondant sheeter would help?

 

Thank you so much again for your input, and your kind words. It means a lot to me :o)

Apti Posted 17 Aug 2014 , 6:36am
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir 
Funnily enough, I treated many a patient with carpal tunnel syndrome over those years, and I know it's the sort of thing that responds to rest and activity modification, and splinting at night (all stuff I have tried). But I also know that if all else fails, surgery is going to be inevitable in my case. Workplace ergonomic design isn't a factor - again its something I did professionally for years. 

 

The main issue for me is the kneading and rolling of fondant. If I could outsource THAT I think I could be fine. I'd hate to end up blocking out three months and then finding I still couldn't roll or knead fondant. Even now, I am heating up my fondant to knead and roll it to make it easier, but the tenosynovitis of my hand and finger flexors is still exacerbated every week at work :-(  

 

 

 


Evoir~~So sorry to hear you are going through this--your cake work is always fabulous.   How sad that it comes with such a high cost.  However, I am happy to hear about your previous life as a physiotherapist, since that means you will be a compliant patient!  Also happy to hear that you are thoroughly familiar with workplace ergonomics.  Although not a PT or OT, I worked as a medical equipment salesperson in the States for 30 years with PT's/OT's and chronic pain multidisciplinary teams.  Even though I sold a kazillion wrist braces, etc., I didn't recognize my own carpal tunnel until I went to take the gallon of milk from the fridge and it just kept goin' on down to the floor.   Ooops...   My successful surgery and recovery for my dominant R hand  was about 20 years ago, but when I started hobby decorating in 2010, I require a wrist brace after doing even a simple hobby cake.

 

You probably already know your exact prognosis, needed recovery time, and what function may be available following surgery better than your orthopaedist, but don't want to think about it. 

 

If I were you (wow! am I TALENTED!!!!!), and was going through this, how would you advise me?   Would you tell me a fondant sheeter would help with the problems associated with kneading and coloring fondant?   (...maybe not so much.)  

 

Hang in there, and Big hugs from t'other side of the world,   Christina

MimiFix Posted 17 Aug 2014 , 5:44pm
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir 
 

I wonder if buying a fondant sheeter would help?

 

A dough/fondant sheeter should work. But that can be expensive. I've heard that people use a pasta machine.

Hula_girl3 Posted 23 Aug 2014 , 3:48pm
post #10 of 11

AHi, I don't really have a response for timeline but just wanted to grow this out there. I thought I was developing CT, a doc said I was too but then I saw a Chiropractor for a seperate issue and complained about my hand, he adjusted my whole arm and ribs...then no more pain! Something worth checking into for others who are in the early developing stages and maybe yourself as I remember him saying he helped his clients avoid surgery 85% of the time. When I worked in that bakery, I had a sheeter... Come to think of it every bakery after my first one had sheeters, I love them as they make the work faster but they are expensive. I would do 6-10 cakes p/week average so that justified it's expense. Look at your business and see how long it would take you to recover the cost, then you'll know if that is worth it to you. Good luck with a strong recovery.

SystemMod2 Posted 25 Aug 2014 , 6:33am
post #11 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hula_girl3 

Hi, I don't really have a response for timeline but just wanted to grow this out there. I thought I was developing CT, a doc said I was too but then I saw a Chiropractor for a seperate issue and complained about my hand, he adjusted my whole arm and ribs...then no more pain! Something worth checking into for others who are in the early developing stages and maybe yourself as I remember him saying he helped his clients avoid surgery 85% of the time. When I worked in that bakery, I had a sheeter... Come to think of it every bakery after my first one had sheeters, I love them as they make the work faster but they are expensive. I would do 6-10 cakes p/week average so that justified it's expense. Look at your business and see how long it would take you to recover the cost, then you'll know if that is worth it to you.
Good luck with a strong recovery.

 

Hi Hula_girl3...thanks for your input. I agree with you that trying everything non-surgical first would be my best option, including acupuncture and chiro. Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment.

 

I have been looking at a 30" sheeter. As I am in Australia, these 100kg suckers cost a fair bit to ship down under. It is a big investment, but so is my health, so I may be biting the bullet and buying one of those to help keep the strain off my wrists and hands.

 

Thanks again everyone.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%