Recovery from carpal tunnel syndrome is not one size fits all. At NYU Langone, our team of physicians and therapists creates a recovery plan based on your treatment and needs.
If you have had surgery, you should use your affected hand only for occasional work during the first two weeks after the procedure. You can likely return to light office work a few days after surgery. The surgeon may schedule a follow-up appointment about six to eight weeks after the procedure.
By eight weeks after surgery, most people have no restrictions on the use of their hand. You can expect to visit your surgeon for periodic checkups during the next three to four months.
Hand therapy performed on an outpatient basis is often prescribed during recovery from surgery. Our hand therapists can work with you to regain your strength and flexibility and help you to return to your daily activities and tasks. The length of therapy is determined by your doctor and depends on the severity of your symptoms.
Physical and occupational therapy may also be prescribed for people who were treated with medication. Hand therapy is provided by physical or occupational therapists and features the use of stretching and strengthening exercises for the affected hand, wrist, and forearm. The goal is to create more space for the nerves and tendons within the carpal tunnel. These exercises also improve movement and prevent the wrist, hand, and arm muscles from losing strength.
Hand therapists help you to adapt your work and home environments to better manage your condition. Making small modifications in your daily habits—such as correcting your posture while working or changing the type of computer mouse you use—can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from recurring.
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