5 doctors weighed in:

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

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Vaught
Neurosurgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Kevin Vaught
Dr. Kevin Vaught
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Dr. Randy Hauck
Surgery - Hand Surgery

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Randy Hauck
Dr. Randy Hauck
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Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
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Dr. Jonathan Sollender
Surgery - Hand Surgery

In brief: 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..

In brief: 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..
Dr. Jonathan Sollender
Dr. Jonathan Sollender
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