Two treatment approaches used by two hand clinics were compared for patients who had undergone carpal tunnel release surgery. One of the clinics used an exercise program consisting of progressive resistive exercise; the other clinic used limited activity and no specific exercise program. Measurements of grip strength and active and passive wrist flexion and extension were taken 3 weeks and 6 weeks after surgery and then analyzed to determine if significant differences existed between the two treatment approaches. A significant difference was found only in active wrist extension, which increased after 3 weeks of a progressive resistive exercise program. Grip strength was also greater after 3 weeks of exercise; however, the increase was not statistically significant. The study raises a question about the efficacy of postoperative treatment for patients who have had carpal tunnel release surgery.

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