Caused by pressure on the median nerve, carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by pain, numbness and tingling in the hand/arm. Often aggravated by spending long hours working on a computer, this condition can cause great discomfort and affect one’s ability to perform their job, hobbies and everyday tasks. Fortunately, a range of treatments are available to help alleviate symptoms, including carpal tunnel release surgery. When considering this treatment, it is important to be aware of what the recovery process entails. This article will outline the general carpal tunnel release recovery timeline and specify other important things to know.
Carpal Tunnel Release: Recovery Time and More
While carpal tunnel can often be effectively managed with nonsurgical methods like medication, physical therapy, steroid injections and activity adjustments, surgery is sometimes necessary. Here’s what you can generally anticipate for recovery, should you decide to undergo carpal tunnel release surgery:
- 2 Weeks After Surgery – About 2 weeks after surgery, you will return to your orthopedic surgeon’s office to have your stitches & bandages removed. Your provider may recommend physical therapy to ease stiffness and improve range of motion in your operated hand. Additionally, you may be advised to wear a splint or wrist brace for a few weeks post surgery.
- 2-4 Weeks After Surgery – In the first few weeks of carpal tunnel release recovery, it is normal to notice pain & soreness in your palm. Rest assured that this discomfort typically lessens significantly by the one-month mark. By this time, you should be able to gradually resume light daily activities, with permission from your doctor.
- 4 Weeks After Surgery – You should be well on your way to regaining full mobility in your fingers. Working with a physical therapist, many patients are able to achieve this milestone within a month after carpal tunnel release surgery.
- 6-8 Weeks After Surgery – By this point, your physician will likely have cleared you to resume work, hobbies and athletic activities. Keep in mind that you may still experience palm sensitivity & soreness at times. Grip strength is typically restored within 2-3 months after surgery, but it can take longer for some patients. As you regain full grip strength, you may have trouble opening doors or food jars.
- 1 Year After Surgery – Most patients notice a dramatic improvement in their symptoms by this point. However, be advised that it could take longer to experience the full benefits of the surgery, especially if another condition such as arthritis also affects your operated wrist.
Ultimately, the carpal tunnel release recovery timeline will be slightly different for every patient. Factors which can affect one’s recovery include age, presence of other conditions, overall health status and adherence to post-operative guidelines.
See Dr. Soffer for Expert Orthopedic Care in Berks County
Carpal tunnel can be very uncomfortable. Fortunately, this common condition is treatable. If you are experiencing carpal tunnel symptoms, it is important to see an orthopedic surgeon early on to prevent your condition from worsening and to expedite your recovery.
Known as the orthopedic doctor Berks County patients can depend on, Dr. Stephen Soffer provides cutting-edge treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and other orthopedic conditions. Drawing on years of experience, Dr. Soffer is determined to help every patient find a personalized solution for their orthopedic issues. If you are eager to resolve your symptoms and get back to doing what you love, call our office at 610-375-4949 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Soffer.