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What can you expect from carpal tunnel surgery?

Carpal tunnel is a common condition that occurs due to the workplace environment. Cashiers, assistants and others who use repetitive movements often suffer from carpal tunnel. If your condition does not respond to braces, corticosteroids or if you can no longer grip objects, you may need surgical intervention.

WebMD explains what to expect from carpal tunnel surgery.

Undergoing surgery

Doctors may recommend one of two different surgeries for carpal tunnel. The intended outcome for both operations is to reduce the pressure on the median nerve. You may undergo open surgery or endoscopic surgery. In open surgery, you receive a large cut, whereas endoscopic surgery involves smaller incisions and a tiny camera to guide doctors.

If your physician recommends surgery, the surgeon will provide you with local anesthesia. You may receive medicine to help you remain calm in some instances, but you probably will not receive any general anesthesia. Most patients remain awake during carpal tunnel syndrome surgery.

Once the surgeon finishes the operation, he or she will stitch the wound and bandage it. You can return home to heal following the surgery.

Healing from surgery

You may feel relief from your original symptoms on the first day. However, you may experience stiffness, swelling and pain after surgery. The soreness tends to last a few weeks but may last for months. The doctor will order your bandage to remain in place for up to two weeks. During healing, you should do exercises to move your fingers. You should be able to resume driving after a couple of days, writing after a week and gripping and inching up to 8 weeks.

In some cases, patients require occupational therapy following surgery.

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