Erie VA Medical Center
Surgical Advances in Treating Carpal Tunnel
Robert Seaman put off carpal tunnel release surgery for years. When he finally went in for a consult, he was presented with the option to be the first patient to receive a new, endoscopic method of carpal tunnel release surgery. After learning about the new method, this Navy Veteran jumped at the chance.
"The staff explained everything they were going to do and what to expect," says Seaman. "They take you in and make you feel comfortable and welcomed, like you're an old friend. It puts your nerves at ease."
During the endoscopic release surgery the surgeon makes a quarter to a half an inch incision at the bend of the wrist, whereas the traditional method involved a two-inch incision made from the palm of the hand to the wrist.
This new method allows for a faster recovery time, averaging about six weeks for recovery because less tissue is disturbed during the surgery. This method also lowers risk of infection, inflammation, and strain on the stitches from movement. The actual procedure, including anesthesia, takes about 20-30 minutes. Seaman went in to the Erie VA at 6:30 in the morning and was back in the comfort of his own home two hours later.
"I was expecting it would take a couple of months to recover but my wrist started to feel better later that day," says Seaman. "I compared scars with my friends who had it done and you could barely see mine. I'd recommend this surgical team and this new method to anyone."
Today, Seaman's enjoying the newfound freedom of moving his hand without pain - and just in time for hunting season.
Erie VA is one of the first facilities in the area offering the endoscopic method of carpal tunnel release surgery. The surgical clinic operates on more than 50 cases of carpal tunnel per year. If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, talk to your provider to see if this new method is right for you.