How Long Is The Recovery From Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery?

hand with healed carpal tunnel incision

Recovery time after carpal tunnel surgery

One of the most common questions I get from patients with carpal tunnel syndrome is: How long is the recovery time after surgery?

Carpal tunnel release surgery involves cutting skin, fat, and ligament. With the bandage in place you can use the hand for typing and light activity almost right away.

The biggest danger is if you bend the wrist while gripping – that could tear up the surgery and cause big problems.

The incision is sealed up around 3 days after the surgery. At that point you can still pull the incision apart, so you have to be careful, but you can get it wet in the shower.

I advise wearing a wrist brace after the bandage comes off – this helps remind you that you’re healing and prevents you from bending your wrist and gripping accidentally.

Usually full recovery is complete around 4 weeks after surgery – that’s when you can ease into gripping and lifting as much as you can.

Another definition of recovery

Everyone heals and recovers a little differently. Some faster, some slower – some have less pain and some have more pain.

Most patients are back to lifting, gripping, and full strength around 6 weeks to 3 months after surgery.

Carpal tunnel surgery recovery video

Here’s a video with more details on recovery time after carpal tunnel surgery:

Please put any questions you have in the comments below!