Karli’s story: Without wrist pain, she’s ‘the mom I want to be’
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Karli Franzke had been down this road before, awakened at night by a numb wrist, pain and loss of strength in her hand.
Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in her right wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the arm’s median nerve is compressed in a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The result is pain, numbness and restricted movement in the affected hand and fingers.
Open surgery treated Karli’s condition. So, when she felt those sensations in her left hand, she suspected it was an old foe – carpal tunnel syndrome. She could not afford to let it persist.
“I had a baby within the last year and doing simple tasks such as feeding him and holding him; my hand would go numb. It would hurt,” she says.
“I’m also a pastry chef by trade and working with my hands every day, all those three things accumulated to be painful. Kind of hindered my day-to-day activity.”
Karli sought the expertise of Dr. Danzhu Guo, a pain and rehab medicine physician with BayCare Clinic in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and a co-developer of the Thread Carpal Tunnel Release procedure, also called the Guo Technique.
It’s a minimally invasive procedure that uses ultrasound technology to map the anatomy of the affected wrist to better identify and treat the problem area.
During the procedure, which is done in the office, local anesthesia is used to numb the skin near the affected area. Guided by ultrasound, the doctor makes two needle puncture holes – one in the center of the palm, and one at the bottom of the wrist – and feeds a thin metal thread into the top hole and through the bottom hole at the base of the wrist.
A patented thread is then fed through the needle and looped around the carpal ligament. The doctor then cuts through the ligament in a sawing motion, releasing pressure on the affected nerve. Once that is complete, the dissecting thread is removed.
Most patients leave the office with little or no pain and report having minimal to no symptoms the following day.
That was Karli’s experience.
“My hand’s not numb. I’m able to keep up production with my job,” she says. “The biggest thing was with my son, and just being able to care for him and be the mom that I want to be and not have that limitation.”
For anyone who’s undecided about the Thread Carpal Tunnel Release procedure, Karli offers this advice:
“If you’re looking to get back to your daily life, daily routine, in a shorter amount of time, I would definitely consider this procedure. Having the knowledge of both – the more traditional way and this way – I would recommend this way, for sure.”
Dr. Danzhu Guo sees patients in Green Bay and Marinette. For appointments, call 920-288-8377 or 866-965-4380 in Green Bay or Marinette, or request an appointment online.
Danzhu Guo, MD, is a Board Certified physiatrist at BayCare Clinic Pain & Rehab Medicine. He has special interests in neurological disorders, occupational health, orthopedics, sports medicine and injury, trauma, chronic pain management and spasticity management. He received his medical education at the Fourth Military Medical University in Xi’an, China, and completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Learn more here.