Green Bay (WFRV) Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful progressive condition caused by compression of a key nerve in the wrist.
It can cause numbness, weakness and pain in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.
More than 3 million cases are diagnosed every year.
In healthwatch Chelly Boutott tells us about a new minimally invasive surgery that has people going back to work immediately.
Traditional carpal tunnel surgery involves up to 6 weeks of recovery and therapy.
But a new non-invasive surgery called the Guo Thread Carpal Tunnel Release is less painful and involves minimal recovery time.
George Smith has no problems holding utensils or other objects with his hands, “I do a lot of writing I can write well,” said George Smith, patient.
3 1/2 years ago George had a problem gripping anything with his left hand due to pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, “I couldn’t pick up a pen I would drop it,” said George
So he had traditional surgery, “The traditional way you do the carpal tunnel release you cut the skin cut through the subcutaneous tissue and you eventually cut the ligament and you close the wound,” said Danzhu Guo, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
George says the surgery didn’t go well, “That was pretty brutal that was very hurtful,” said George.
George missed about a month of work, “Traditional carpal tunnel surgery usually takes 4-6 weeks to recover,” said Dr. Guo.
And it required George to do weeks of therapy at home, “So I just kept working my hand working it kept getting it stronger,” said George.
Occupational therapist Mitch Voss at Aurora BayCare Orthopedic and Sports Medicine says traditional surgery requires therapy due to scar tissue, “So making sure the scar tissue doesn’t get thick through the palm and making sure that there is good mobility through that scar tissue,” said Mitch Voss, Occupational therapist, Aurora BayCare Orthopedic and Sports Medicine.
When George was diagnosed with carpal tunnel in his right hand he decided to go to Dr. Danzhu Guo at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
Instead of traditional surgery – Dr. Guo used the minimally invasive Guo Thread Carpal Tunnel Release, “Now we use a wire loop the ligament under ultrasound guidance this way only two needle poke and we can cut the ligament without cutting the skin,” said Dr. Guo.
George was impressed, “I call my right hand my miracle hand it was almost 100-percent pain free.”
The Guo technique leaves no scar tissue- so no occupational therapy, “You don’t have to worry about the scar tissue potentially getting stuck and attaching to that nerve and restricting movement,” said Voss.
George just had to do a few hand flexing exercises, “I got the strength back almost immediately,” said George.
“The majority of people can go back to work within a day,” said Dr. Guo.
George was able to hold a pen soon after surgery, “The nurse made me write that day.”
George’s left hand still bothers him, “That’s why I’m contemplating, considering redoing my left hand.”
Dr. Guo and his two brothers invented the Guo technique and his group is the only one using it in our area.
To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.