Freeman Medical Focus — Carpal Tunnel

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JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s estimated more than four million Americans will be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome this year. The answer for many of them is surgery.

Dr. Thomas Sanders, Orthopedic Surgeon, said, “Very common and we see it more all the time because people are becoming more active in sports and work primarily with using their hands and so we see this become a bigger issue for people.”

Symptoms range from mild discomfort to significant pain in your fingers caused by repetitive motions like typing.

“So what happens is the main nerve to the hand that supplies these fingers is getting pinched here at the wrist. And so that’s what causes the numbness, tingling and pain in the fingers.”

A nerve conduction study can help tested how your wrist is functioning. Treatment can start with a brace or anti-inflammatory medication or point to surgery.

“So the surgery involves making a little incision on the front of the wrist here we go through the skin and we release the connective tissue that’s putting all the pressure on the nerve.”

It’s an outpatient procedure and the recovery period is generally short.

“Usually by the time we get the skin to heal up at about two weeks, people are ready to go back to their normal routine.”

In some cases, a patient may have problems with that wrist in the future.

“It is possible that scar tissue can cover that nerve again but that’s usually pretty rare.”

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