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How long does it take to recover from carpal tunnel surgery?

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Quick Answer

Following surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome in a nondominant hand, a person can return to work in one to two days, provided he doesn’t perform repetitive motions, states WebMD. A person doing repetitive activities may need four weeks or more to recover after surgery on a dominant hand.

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Those undergoing endoscopic surgery can expect a speedier recovery period than those who opt for open surgery, according to WebMD. This is due to the fact that an endoscopic procedure require less cutting and does not disturb as large an area as an open surgery. Most people having endoscopic surgery can have the surgery and be released to go home the same day; this is not always true of open surgery.

During endoscopic surgery, a flexible tube is used to guide a camera through the wrist to see its internal structures and locate the carpal ligament, states WebMD. The carpal ligament is cut to release pressure on the median nerve to alleviate the symptoms experienced.

Recovery is determined dramatically by whether the hand being treated is the dominant hand that is most often used, says WebMD. Recovery time can also be affected by the activity that the patient returns to and how much effort he puts into physical therapy and rehabilitation.

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