What can I expect after carpal tunnel surgery?

Usually relief. Typically results from carpal tunnel surgery are good. That is, symptoms resolve with relatively little down time. While surgeons differ in their protocol, in my practice the operation is done under local anesthesia with light sedation and the patient can use the hand for most activities right after surgery. Stitches come out at two weeks and the patient leaves with a band aid. That's usually it.
Just slow down. For most patients, they are able to gradually resume most normal activities around 6 weeks after surgery. Most do not require occupational therapy on the hand. However, ot can be helpful if the recovery is slow. Your hand will be sore and possibly swollen for the first few weeks. Fortunately, most patients have a very good outcome.
Relief. After successful surgery, you should have relief of your symptoms. Depending on the condition of the nerve beforehand, you should be able to make a full recovery of you have not sustained chronic nerve damage.
A sore palm. If you are having open carpal tunnel release, you will likely have a sore , painful palm for 2-4 weeks. Thereafter you will steadily recover and return to your usual activities. Most patients (80%+) will have a good result in term of improvements of the hand numbness, palm pain, night hand/forearm pain, and even weakness. Ask your doctor for more details.

Related Questions

What are the best exercises after carpal tunnel surgery?

Keep fingers moving. After any hand surgery it's important to keep the fingers moving. Make full fists and extend the fingers many times throughout the day. After a week or two start moving the wrist. Read more...
Just keep moving. No special excerises are necessary. Just be sure you keep your fingers and wrists moving to prevent stiffness. Read more...

What are recommended exercises after carpal tunnel surgery?

Keep fingers moving. Immediately after surgery it's important to keep your fingers moving with your wrist in a neutral position (not bent backward or foreward). Try doing this several times an hour while awake for the first 24 hours. Movements should be slow and full - fully extend the fingers straight and fully flex them into the palm, but without gripping tightly. Read more...
Ask your surgeon! Different hand surgeons offer divergent opinions on this--some splint the wrist and advocate "rest" during healing; others use a light wrap or no bandage and allow gentle movement to reduce swelling and enhance function. (i like the latter.) follow your surgeon's advice, for it is s/he you will ask to advise if you develop difficulty while healing. Read more...

What is the typical recovery time after carpal tunnel surgery?

4-6 weeks. Most patients return to non-lifting jobs in 4-6 weeks after this surgery. Read more...
Four to six weeks. The answer depends on what type of surgery you have and what you consider "full recovery." overall, most patients can return to full, unrestricted activity at ~6 weeks postop. Most patients can perform most daily light activities within 1-2 weeks. Return to activity is faster if you have an endoscopic surgery vs and open release, although the long-term results are the same. Read more...
6 weeks. For most patients, they are able to gradually resume most normal activities around 6 weeks after surgery. Most do not require occupational therapy on the hand. However, ot can be helpful if the recovery is slow. Read more...
Recovery time varies. Recover time will vary depending on many factors including age, general health of the patient, infection control, smoker or not, blood sugar control, the exact type of procedure, and post-operative and follow up care. Discuss it with your surgeon and get their opinion as to what they feel is a reasonable recovery time for you. Read more...
CTR recovery. In my practice the patient has a soft dressing for 1 week and they start mobilizing in the second week. Recovery from the carpal tunnel surgery can be as quick as two weeks but the nerve recovery may take 6 months if the nerve compression was severe. Scar matures over 6-9 months. Your hand surgeon is the best person to give you detailed information about recovery specific to your condition. Read more...
Varies on procedure. The traditional open procedures usually require 6-8 weeks of full recovery. The endoscopic techniques offer a faster recovery within a few weeks. In my practice where I perform a particular type of endoscopic release (EndoTech), patients can move immediately and have a small soft dressing that is removed in 2 days and are allowed to shower at that time. Average return to work is within 1 week. Read more...

What to do if mild pain recurs after carpal tunnel surgery?

Time. You need time, up to 6 month to recover. Pain, unfortunately , is part of recovering from surgery. Contact your surgeon and ask for pain medications. Read more...
After carpal tunnel. Midl pain may be a sign of nrmal healing ( we all go at different pace), pillar pain, pain from joints adjacent to the carpal tunnel, another source such as a trigger finger, scar sensitivity, swelling from overdoing it too soon, and the lsit goes on. Often nerve pain goes away but often if one doesn't qualify that the mild pain may not be from the cts, then after surgery there is disappointment. Read more...
Keep an eye on it. Just take it easy and give the hand a chance to heal. If the pain worsens, follow-up with your surgeon. If takes about 6 weeks for the hand to heal. Read more...

Can trigger finger happen after carpal tunnel surgery?

Yes. Recent research just published within the last few months does show an increased risk of developing trigger finger after carpal tunnel surgery. The biomechanics of the tendons going through the carpal tunnel are altered slightly after the surgery which can in fact increase the risk of developing trigger finger. Read more...

Is it common after carpal tunnel surgery to get trigger finger?

No. No not at all (if it's true trigger finger). However you should make sure there is no scar tissue adhesions in the carpal tunnel that may be "tugging" on you flexor tendons and giving you the impression of trigger finger... Read more...
Yes. There has been new research demonstrating an increased risk of trigger finger after carpal tunnel surgery. The release of the thick ligament which is causing compression on the nerve does alter the biomechanics of the tendons slightly which can increase the chances of developing trigger finger. This article was just published within the last few months. Read more...

Will carpel tunnel force me into a new career? I'm a barber and developed carpal tunnel after fifteen years. Is there any chance I can go back to being a barber after carpal tunnel surgery or is it time to find a new profession?

Absolutely. . Absolutely. The recovery from the surgery is relative rapid. The incision heals in a matter of a couple weeks, and pain from surgery is nearly resolved by that point as well. This depends on whether the surgery is done endoscopically or with an open incision. Typically, an endoscopic release has a smaller incision, which mean more rapid healing and recovery. On the other hand, an open release performed by a very skilled and experienced surgeon could have an incision not that much larger than that. The numbness, tingling and pain of carpal tunnel will take longer to resolve. How long is entirely dependant on how long you have had the symptoms and how severe they are. In about 20% of cases, symptoms are incompletely resolved or recur after surgery. Read more...
No career change. Carpal tunnel surgery permanently changes the anatomy of the carpal tunnel so reoccurrent symptoms, even if returning to the same job, is unusual. So fixing the carpal tunnel should get you back to being a barber -. Read more...
EXPECT to return. Expect to return to your previous activity fully having carpal tunnel or needing carpal tunnel surgery is not a reason to expect a change in job or other activity.It is not a rason to expect disablity. It is not a reason to expect career change. Read more...