When can I go back to work after carpal tunnel surgery?

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. The type of work being done influences when someone can return. The more strenuous the work the more time it takes. Your surgeon can help you make a plan as to when you can return.
Depends on job. I have secretaries that often go right back to work. If your are running a jackhammer it will take 2 months or more. You can use your hand right away for most things but pressure on the wrist is painful for about 2 months and full grip strength does not return for 6 months.
Return to work. Studies show variable return to work times for self-employed versus workmen's compensation status as well as open versus limited (small incision or endoscopic) approach.
A few days, maybe. A motivated patient in a light work environment (not construction labor) could return to work within a few days, and avoid using the operated hand. If a work comp claim, they typically take longer, as those patients typically are not as motivated as a business owner. Your hand surgeon should have told you the expected recovery time, return to work time, therapy time before your surgery. If not..

Related Questions

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.
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 -.
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.

How does carpal tunnel surgery work exactly?

Easy. It is one of the simples surgeries in the world. Takes few minutes just to grab scissor and cut the band of fibrous tissue that is pressing the median nerve. Pts. Get a wound like 2-3 inches long from the palm of the hand down to the wrist. Stitches are placed on the skin to be removed few days later. Some sort of immobilization with a wrist brace is place to prevent movement of the wound.
Release carpal lig. It essentially involves cutting or releasing the transverse carpal ligament and can be done using a variety of approaches.
Release of pressure. The surgery opens the roof of the carpal tunnel to take pressure off the nerve.
See below. A carpal tunnel release divides the transverse carpal ligament that firms the roof of the carpal tunnel that the median nerve passes through. This decompresses the nerve and usually eliminates the symptoms of CTS.
Space enlarging. It cuts the ligament which makes up the roof of the carpal tunnel enlarging the space and getting rid of the compression on the median nerve.

Had carpal tunnel surgery back in 2009 and my fingers and arm are still going numb and wake me up out of my sleep... What could this be?

See doctor. Your problem may be higher up in your cervical spine a bulging disk in your neck may be impinging on the nerves that innervate your wrist and hand. Consult your physician.
New exam. Maybe EMG. A new examination by a physician who specializes in nerve pain (dysesthesias) is warranted. The key would be to perform a physical exam and history to try to differentiate the cause. Electrodiagnostic studies (EMG) may be indicated to evaluate specific nerves. Get eval with neurologist, physiatrist, or hand surgeon to help.
Let me explain. 1-did they do the EMG test before the surgery and nerve conductive studies? 2- since you still have pain and numbness after the surgery, it is recommended to have another EMG to see if the pressure was released? 3-after that, if the test was positive, you may have internal scar in the nerve and sometime you will require release of the scar inside the nerve. Good luck.

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.
Just keep moving. No special excerises are necessary. Just be sure you keep your fingers and wrists moving to prevent stiffness.

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.
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
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.