I want to start off by saying that I only did this ONCE, for a student at work, so I offer no guarantees. But it might help some people stranded out there. I also don’t know if this applies to other Office documents or just to Word. Other than that, you have nothing to lose anyway 😉
So… a really simple method, although slightly time consuming if you need to download the tools, is just try and open the document with OpenOffice. It would seem that OpenOffice is considerably less fussy about how corrupt a document is or not (which can either be that it doesn’t “care” or it doesn’t even realise that it’s corrupt… I vote for the later). After opening it, I saved it in regular .doc compatible format, opened the new file with MS Word and Voila! No obvious issues with the recovered file, everything looked ok. Good thing I was running Ubuntu in that specific moment…

PS: This is where you get OpenOffice from