Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
If stretching, ibuprofen or wrist splints just aren't helping, you might consider an operation to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. In tonight's Health Watch, some patients are even opting to watch the surgery themselves!
Janet McKnight has worked with young children for nearly 20 years. She's a pediatric occupational therapist. She helps little ones, like Junior, develop their fine motor skills and sensory processing.
Her work is interactive and physical. "I use my hands every day and in every thing I do." says McKnight.
So, when she started noticing numbness in her fingers, which turned into pain that kept her up at night, she knew something had to be done.
Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Michael Lilyquist specializes in hand and upper extremities at Great Basin Orthopaedics. Dr. Lilyquist diagnosed McKnight with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Dr. Lilyquist said, "When you have carpal tunnel syndrome, it's actually pressure on the nerve that's running through that carpal tunnel."
The carpal tunnel is made up of wrist bones, a ligament, tendons and a nerve. When you have swelling or inflammation, it can cause the nerve to press up on the ligament. "It's typically an over-use thing," said Dr. Lilyquist.
Dr. Lilyquist is in the operating room at Northern Nevada Medical Center and says there's a minimally-invasive endoscopic surgery to fix it. In fact, McKnight is wide awake for it.
While watching on this monitor, Dr. Lilyquist cuts through the ligament to relax it and take pressure off the nerve. "We made an incision above that ligament and then we put a camera underneath it - so we were actually looking up at the ligament." It's about a 15 minute procedure.
McKnight is able to get back to work relatively soon. "Yeah. Monday, right away." says McKnight.
There are lifting restrictions for a short time and some soreness, but just two weeks after this surgery McKnight says there's no more numbness. She says she felt better almost immediately. So, she could get back to the rewarding job she loves.
To learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome, you can reach Dr. Lilyquist at Great Basin Orthopaedics at http://greatbasinortho.com. Dr. Lilyquist will also be our Ask the Doctor guest Monday, May 1. Lines will be open between 5-6 p.m. at (775) 858-2222.