What are the advantages of ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release?

Dr. Johnny T. Nelson offers ultra–minimally invasive carpal tunnel release under ultrasound guidance.  He is the first orthopedic surgeon in the Raleigh Durham area to perform this procedure, one of only two physicians in the state of North Carolina, and remains the only orthopedic surgeon offering this new technology for patients in the Raleigh-Durham area.

But what exactly is this procedure, and why is it better?

All carpal tunnel releases, no matter how they are performed, work by releasing pressure off of an important nerve at the level of the wrist, called the median nerve.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is very common, approximately 1 out of every 20 Americans suffers from this condition. That is A LOT of people.  It causes numbness, tingling, pain, especially in the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger, it is often worse at night.  Patients often have to change what they are doing, or shake their hands out to make their symptoms better.

Unfortunately, many of these patients are reluctant to proceed with carpal tunnel release, even though this procedure would very likely cure their symptoms, help them to sleep a full night’s sleep, and continue to stay active and independent.  There are many reasons why they remain reluctant, but the fear of surgery, either the pain or anxiety of the surgical procedure, or the fear of prolonged healing and pain after the procedure, are most likely the main reasons. Economic concerns are another reason. 

IMG 2551484183BC 1Ultrasound guided carpal tunnel release helps to address these concerns.

This procedure can be done with local only anesthesia, meaning that Dr. Johnny Nelson can perform this without resorting to heavy medications, general anesthesia (for example, a sleeping tube down the patient’s throat), or expensive nerve blocks.  This is not only usually less expensive for the patient, but also is a great option for patients with other medical issues that make anesthesia difficult.

Ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release also is performed without a tourniquet.  A tourniquet is a inflatable band that squeezes the arm being operated on so that the surgeon can see.  Because Dr. Nelson uses ultrasound guidance, a tourniquet is unnecessary.

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Finally, this procedure is done through a very tiny poke incision.  Ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release is the most precise way of releasing the pressure on your nerve without cutting and harming structures that are not involved with causing the carpal tunnel syndrome.  This tiny poke incision, its very small size and location slightly on the forearm, especially placed to avoid incisions on the palm that are more likely to be sensitive and interfere with activities after surgery.  As a result, many patients who have ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release can return to their activities right away, certainly within 5 days of their procedure. No splint is necessary after surgery.

Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome?  Does anyone you know or love have carpal tunnel syndrome?  If so, call 919-872-5296 to schedule a visit with Dr. Johnny T. Nelson, MD for a consultation. 

To learn more about ultra-minimally invasive carpal tunnel release, visit Sonexhealth.com.

Johnny Nelson is a fellowship-trained shoulder & hand doctor practicing in association with the Bone & Joint Surgery Clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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