Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel in-office options available
The plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic have the expertise to successfully treat a wide variety of hand- and wrist-related conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel of the wrist. The median nerve gives feeling to your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. When the median nerve is compressed, as it is with carpal tunnel syndrome, it results in pain, numbness and restricted movement in the hand and fingers. While the condition affects people from all walks of life, it mostly affects those who perform repetitive motions with their hands – musicians, assembly line workers, gardeners, mechanics and many others.
Carpal tunnel surgery traditionally is performed one of two ways: open and endoscopic. Open surgery involves an incision from the wrist to the palm over the carpal tunnel to correct the problematic ligament and free the median nerve. In endoscopic surgery, a small incision is made in the hand or wrist and an endoscope – a tiny camera – is used to see inside the carpal tunnel, helping the surgeon correct the troublesome ligament.
Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic also offers an innovative, minimally-invasive procedure to help those experiencing hand or wrist discomfort from carpal tunnel syndrome.
The procedure requires no surgical incisions. Rather, it uses ultrasound technology to help map the treatment area and help guide thin needles carrying a tiny, smooth thread to the problematic ligament. The thread is looped on either side of the ligament and is manipulated in a back-and-forth motion to separate the ligament and ease pain.
Once that is complete, the dissecting thread is removed. Including preparation time, the procedure takes about 30 minutes.
Both the more common carpal tunnel release surgery and the minimally-invasive procedure can be performed in the office for most patients.
Carpal Tunnel Common Questions
Which option should I choose?
Each option – open surgery, endoscopic surgery and the minimally-invasive option – is a safe and effective way to treat carpal tunnel release.
Can this be done in the office?
Yes. For most people, each of the carpal tunnel surgical options can be performed in the office.
What can I expect during recovery?
Those who choose traditional carpal tunnel surgery may experience discomfort in the palm when they push up on objects, lift weights or grasp objects for four to six weeks following surgery.
Recovery time for those having the minimally-invasive option is often as brief as one day. Many notice little to no discomfort and have minimal symptoms the following day.
How long do results last?
All of the procedures provide similar long-term outcomes, but the short-term recovery may differ depending on the procedure.