Recovery After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

For people with mild cases of carpal tunnel, treatment often revolves around at-home solutions such as hot and cold therapy, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), wearing a splint, and even taking an over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication to ease discomfort. However, carpal tunnel can be a degenerative condition that can lead to damage of the median nerve in the hand and wrist. In more severe cases, surgery may be required. And many patients are surprised to realize that full recovery can take as much as a year in some cases.

3 Things to Know Before Your FESS surgery

The first 2 weeks post-surgery

While carpal tunnel-related symptoms can improve as soon as the day of surgery, don’t expect to have full use of the treated hand. Usually, the doctor will require the bandages to stay on for 1-2 weeks immediately after surgery and recovering patients should expect to be told to minimize hand movements to prevent straining. The first few days after a procedure, patients may need a caregiver, as driving is not recommended. Similarly, individuals who normally write frequently will also need to wait until a week post-surgery.

What to expect 1 month post-surgery

During this period the physician will recommend gentle hand movements, but patients are still discouraged from gripping, pulling, or pinching movements. After bandages are removed, a doctor may recommend occupational therapy, as well as guided exercises to improve hand and wrist movement and boost healing. Keep in mind that during the early stages of recovery some people may need to take time off from work.

What to expect 3 months post-surgery

Depending on the severity of a person’s carpal tunnel before the surgery, pain and discomfort symptoms may still be present. Some research has shown that complete relief from carpal tunnel symptoms immediately following surgery is usually only around 50%, whereas general improvement over longer periods has a success rate of 90%. Likewise, research has shown that nerves improve after surgery at a rate of roughly 1 inch per month. Side effects such as tingling and numbness in the fingers may still be present several months after surgery. Another common pain culprit can include healing of the incision site.

Factors that impact recovery

Other factors can also determine how quickly an individual recovers and how long a caretaker may be needed. For example, people that perform repetitive tasks with the hands, such as typing or assembly-line work may need to wait 6-8 weeks to return to work. Likewise, surgery on a person’s dominant hand may mean reduced independence around the home during the recovery period. And finally, an open versus an endoscopic surgery will have markedly different recovery timelines. Patients undergoing open surgeries should expect longer recoveries while the limited invasiveness of endoscopic surgeries can shorten recovery times significantly.

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“Marcia and staff were excellent and genuinely cared for my well being. Wish I could have taken them home.”

“No severe pain – Just a little discomfort – I was asked several times during procedure if I was OK – they showed genuine concern for my well being.”
“Dr. Tupper was amazing! He spent time explaining exactly what he was doing, what I would experience and made sure I was comfortable.”
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“The staff was very polite, they were excellent. They explained exactly what was going on.”

“The staff was great, especially Mary and Marcia. Marcia was extremely helpful post-op and made sure I was comfortable and well-cared for.”

“No severe pain – Just a little discomfort – I was asked several times during procedure if I was OK – they showed genuine concern for my well being.”
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“The staff was great, especially Mary and Marcia. Marcia was extremely helpful post-op and made sure I was comfortable and well-cared for.”

“The staff was very polite, they were excellent. They explained exactly what was going on.”

“I can’t say enough about Marcia and the entire team. The care I received was well beyond anything I could have expected.”

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“Efficiency of the staff. Courteous, friendly and caring attitude. Excellent office staff. Pleasant surroundings.”

“I liked that it was so clean. Every staff member was pleasant and easy to talk with.”

“The STAFF from the moment you walk in were the nicest people I’ve encountered at a medical facility.”

“All staff were wonderful.”

“Everyone was friendly and concerned about my comfort. They frequently asked how I was doing, or if I needed something.”
“Dr. Dedhia made everything clear and even scheduled an early follow-up appt so I could get back to work sooner.”

“Everyone was concerned with my comfort.”

“Everyone was friendly and the place was very clean.”

“The nurses were very nice and caring!”
“Rebecca was amazing. I have always had trouble in the past with getting an IV started. I told Rebecca I was concerned about it. She got it on the 1st try – no digging in my arm and NO bruising the next day.”
“NO wait time, RN Rebecca answered all questions prior to my visit by phone and again answered all questions and concerns while prepping me.”
“Experience was amazing. The nurses my son needed at this time couldn’t have been chosen any more perfect. They were supportive and understanding, patient and just great human beings.THANK YOU KINDLY ”
“Everyone was friendly and concerned about my comfort. They frequently asked how I was doing, or if I needed something.”

“Entire staff was knowledgeable and courteous. They genuinely cared for my well being and made sure my wife and I were taken care of.”

“Everyone was concerned with my comfort.”

“Marcia and staff were excellent and genuinely cared for my well being. Wish I could have taken them home.”

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