Carpal tunnel syndrome affects millions of Americans and it can be a debilitating condition for people with hands-on careers. If non-surgical treatments prove ineffective, carpal tunnel syndrome might be your only option to restore complete hand function. Dr. Falcon offers two surgical options for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by a compressed median nerve and it leads to tingling, numbness, or achiness in the fingers. The median nerve runs from the upper arm to the base of the hand and has a major role in muscle movement and sensation in the fingers and hands. The carpal tunnel is a group of ligaments, tendons, and bones in the wrist. The median nerve travels through the carpal tunnel but if the space is too tight, pressure is put on the median nerve and the hand cannot function properly. When weakened or stiff muscles and pain in the hands or fingers persist for six months or longer, carpal tunnel surgery may be needed to alleviate your symptoms. Endoscopic carpal tunnel release uses specialized tools to access the median nerve compression in a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
Minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery uses special endoscopic tools to access the compressed ligaments and tendons in the wrist. The incision necessary for minimally invasive surgery is only a few centimeters long so you will not have to worry about a large scar, and you can expect faster healing. Traditional hand surgery requires a larger incision and therefore, a longer recovery time is needed. Both procedures only require sedative anesthesia and are performed in an outpatient setting.
“I've had several surgeries but I've always been put under because they couldn't do it any other way. When I was a child I was awake for a surgery and it was a very bad experience so when Dr. Falcon told me that I would be awake for my hand surgery, needless to say I was very scared but he and his nurse made me very relaxed and before I knew it it was over and I have no scar.”
If other treatments like a wrist splint, cortisone steroid injections, or medications have not successfully treated your condition, carpal tunnel surgery may be recommended by Dr. Falcon. Minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery is often a preferred method for patients as recovery time is much shorter than the traditional surgery. Performing traditional carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists would leave people unable to use either hand for 1-2 weeks, however with minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery recovery is often less than 3 days. Other factors like the severity of the nerve compression will impact whether Dr. Falcon uses the minimally invasive approach for your surgery.
After minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery, most patients can start moving their fingers and hands the day after surgery. Some discomfort is common, as well as mild swelling, but this can often be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medication.
Most health insurance plans will cover at least some of the costs of minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery, as the procedure is considered medically necessary. Coverage will vary depending on your plan, so it is best to contact your health insurance provider prior to your appointment with Dr. Falcon. If you have any questions about insurance or financing, you can contact our staff who will happily help.
To determine whether you are a candidate for traditional or minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery in Pittsburgh schedule a consultation today with Dr. Falcon. He will create a treatment plan tailored to your lifestyle and the complexity of your condition. Our two offices are conveniently located around Pittsburgh, in Monroeville and Natrona Heights, PA.
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