Estimating the recovery rate of hand strength and function with rehabilitation following carpal tunnel release surgery
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After carpal tunnel release, surgery patients frequently face two deficits: (a) diminished grip and pinch strength and (b) lack of functional ability in the hand. The purpose of this study was to estimate the recovery rate of grip strength, palmar pinch strength and hand function with an occupational therapy rehabilitation program after carpal tunnel release surgery over time. Nine participants who recently had carpal release surgery were recruited from a hand therapy clinic in western New York. Grip strength, palmar pinch strength, and hand function were measured every two weeks, for a total of eight weeks, post-surgery with a hand dynamometer, pinch gauge and the Quick DASH questionnaire respectively. There was a great increase (72%) in grip strength between week two and week eight after surgery. However, there was less improvement in palmar pinch strength (39%) between weeks two to eight. Although participants showed a great improvement in hand function as measured by the Quick DASH, their scores did not reach the United State population norm.