Our hands are used in so many of our daily activities that we can easily lose count of just how many things we do with them. Our awareness changes, though, when we have a condition that affects our comfort. Carpal tunnel is a prime example. This condition results from repetitive motion, overuse injury, a fracture or sprain, or possibly a hereditary predisposition. It can cause pain, tingling, and numbness so severe that it can be debilitating to some degree. In some situations, it is necessary to perform carpal tunnel release surgery. With carpal tunnel syndrome an issue of compression on the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist, release is done to create more space for the nerve as well as surrounding tendons, thus releasing the nerve from its persistent pressure.
Carpal tunnel release surgery is performed in one of two ways:
- Open carpal tunnel release is performed through a small incision on the inside of the wrist. The doctor cuts the carpal ligament to relieve nerve pressure.
- Endoscopic carpal tunnel release involves a small incision on the wrist or palm. An endoscope with a tiny camera is inserted to find and cut the ligament.
An orthopedic surgeon typically recommends carpal tunnel release surgery when nonsurgical clinical interventions have failed to relieve pain. In the vast majority of cases, pain disappears completely after this procedure, though it can take several months for recovery to be complete.
What Types Of Surgeons Can Perform Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery?
Carpal tunnel release can be performed by a few different types of doctors, each of which should have express training performing hand procedures.
- Orthopedic surgeons. An orthopedic surgeon specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the musculoskeletal system. This includes the tendons, ligaments, joints, bones, and muscles that are important to everyday function. This type of doctor has extensive training that enables them to treat all parts of the body, including the wrist and hand.
- Neurosurgeons. A neurosurgeon is a specialist that has been trained to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the spine, brain, and nervous system. Their extensive training involves the performance of highly complex surgical techniques.
- Plastic surgeons. A plastic surgeon is most commonly known as a doctor who performs cosmetic procedures like facelifts. However, plastic surgeons are also often trained in various types of reconstructive procedures, which makes some plastic surgeons qualified to perform carpal tunnel release surgery.
How To Find The Right Surgeon
You may have noticed that we stated a plastic surgeon may be qualified to perform carpal tunnel release surgery. This is based on their medical training. However, there are other ways to make sure you choose the right surgeon for your particular needs. To do so, consider the following:
- Ask for a physician recommendation from a primary care provider
- Gather reviews on a few potential providers
- Research the credentials of these providers using their website or a review site (make sure to choose a properly board-certified specialist)
- When consulting with a surgeon, ask how many carpal tunnel release surgeries they have performed and how often they perform the procedure
The team at Orthopedic Associates of Long Island is adept at treating a wide variety of conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome. As skilled as they are at performing surgery, their approach to orthopedic conditions is to address them nonsurgical whenever possible. If you would like to know more about carpal tunnel release surgery or how you can address your wrist pain, contact us at 631.689.6698 . We have multiple locations across Long Island to serve you.