Carpal Tunnel Surgery Recovery Today

carpal tunnel surgery recovery today

During your carpal tunnel surgery recovery today

It looks like you’re thinking about surgery to fix your carpal tunnel problem. The idea of having hand surgery is a scary thing. But the carpal tunnel doctor says you need it, and now it’s time to educate yourself. I’m happy to help with answers to your questions. A big one I hear is, “What will happen during my carpal tunnel surgery recovery today?” Let’s skip the background things and get right down to what you can expect.

First, it’s important to know you will have one of two kinds of surgery. Both are carpal tunnel release surgery. But the most popular one is “open carpal tunnel release surgery”. The other is “endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery”. The one you have affects what happens during recovery. Your doctor will tell you which he or she prefers to do, and why.

Run, don’t walk to get massage therapy before your symptoms get worse.

Trust me, I know. Easily 80% of patients complain they didn’t get massage years ago when their symptoms first started.

To help them, I patented a massager I invented to cure my wife’s symptoms. It delivers a very special type of massage called myofascial release. This kind of massage can CURE carpal tunnel symptoms when done right. As a neurophysiologist, I knew the technique and used it on my wife when she’d wake up at night literally screaming from pain.

You’re welcome to text, email or phone my office to find out more. Ask about our risk-free trial. Or take the free hand pain and numbness evaluation.

Carpal tunnel surgery recovery today – right after surgery

After the operation, the doctor bandages your hand no matter which surgery you had. That’s mostly to prevent infection. The bandages stay on until the stitches come out. Doing simple things like combing your hair, eating, and toileting will be painful. But the pain medicines will help a lot. The pain is much less in about 3-5 days. Bathing requires a plastic bag over your hand.

right after carpal tunnel surgery

Recovery today & within 10 days

The stitches come out between 7 and 10 days. Hence, you need to return to the surgical center for that. The bandages also come off permanently. That’s BIG relief. Moreover, pain is much less now. Doctors use carpal tunnel braces to replace the bandages for the next 3-6 weeks. Also, by now you can drive a car. Some doctors prefer beginning limited hand therapy at this point. It involves moving the fingers and hands slowly and gently. It gets rid of stiffness and promotes good range of motion. The scar may feel tender or itchy. Use lotion to gently massage it. Doing so reduces discomfort and softens the scar. In addition, many people apply vitamin E oil to lessen the scar size over time.

With endoscopic surgery, many patients can return to work now. However, their job is usually limited to what is done wearing a splint. Of course, you must restrict any vigorous hand activities. You also cannot lift heavy weights. With open release surgery, return to work may take longer. Generally, it takes them about 3-4 weeks. In others it takes more than a month to return. Whether or not the surgery was on your dominant hand also affects the carpal tunnel surgery recovery today and for the next month.

It’s important to note that your job function is an important factor. Indeed, jobs that require a lot of hand work need re-thinking. That’s because the job is usually the problem to begin with. Doing fast, repetitive work with the hands is a known risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome. OSHA says that only 21-23% of people who had surgery return to their former job.

Recovery today and within 30 days

By this time patients have a regular hand therapy schedule. This therapy focuses on regaining strength and dexterity. Gradually, more and more hand activities resume. You don’t need the wrist splint during the day, but must wear it at night.

Recovery beyond 30 days

It’s hard to predict what happens in this period of carpal tunnel surgery recovery today or any day. Will your hand be normal again? What restrictions will you have? All these answers vary from person to person. That’s because several factors come into play. These can make the carpal tunnel surgery recovery go quickly. They can also make it drag out for a year or more. The factors that will make recovery take longer include:

  • Complications of surgery (infection, nerve damage, etc.)
  • Slow overall rate of healing
  • Poor general health (especially having chronic diseases)
  • Smoking
  • Advanced age (generally, over 50 is higher risk)
  • Poor emotional disposition
  • Inability to commit to hand therapy

These factors affect a person’s recovery period. You and the surgeon should discuss them in detail. You don’t want surprises AFTER the operation! So get complete answers to every question now.


Carpal tunnel surgery recovery time is different for everybody. Short term and long term recovery goals will be established by your doctor. And that depends on specific personal issues before and after surgery. However, make sure you actually need surgery. Your doctor should have discussed the many non-surgical remedies available to you today.

cure carpal tunnel at home

Two 15 minute Carpal Rx treatments for 30 days cures symptoms in 97% of carpal tunnel patients.

Those limitations are why I invented  the Carpal Rx. It exactly duplicates what a physical therapist does and you use it from the comfort of your home. Two 15 minute treatments for 30 days cures symptoms in 97% of patients.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Remember, we’re here for you and it’s fine to call us up just to pick our brains!