Each year, there are more than 3 million cases of carpal tunnel syndrome in the United States. However, this common condition can also be unfortunately debilitating. It’s disruptive and difficult to live with, but there is good news for those suffering from this condition: open surgery is not the only way it can be successfully treated! At the Center for Sports Medicine and Wellness, carpal tunnel syndrome treatment is performed using the most advanced and minimally invasive procedures available. This makes recovery quicker and easier for our patients and allows them to get back to their sport or work with minimal downtime.
Keep reading to learn more about our minimally invasive treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Symptoms & Who’s At Risk
The median nerve runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand. When this nerve becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist, it leads to the condition we know as carpal tunnel syndrome. This can develop when tendons become irritated and their lining thickens or some other swelling occurs in the area, compressing the median nerve.
Why is this condition called carpal tunnel syndrome? The carpal tunnel is a small passageway of ligaments and bones located at the base of the hand that houses the median nerve and the tendons that allow the fingers to bend. The median nerve also controls feeling of the index, middle, part of the ring finger, and the palm side of the thumb. This nerve even controls some of the muscles in the base of the thumb.
Anyone who regularly participates in the following sports has an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Racket sports
- Body building
- Rock climbing
However, this condition can also develop because of work activities, such as typing. This is why carpal tunnel syndrome treatment isn’t limited to athletes.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome typically set in gradually, beginning with numbness, weakness, or pain in the hand and wrist. For some, this pain can even extend to the forearm and arm. Other symptoms include:
- Weakness in the hands when gripping objects, which can lead to dropping them.
- Pain or numbness in the hands.
- A feeling described as “pins and needles” in the fingers.
- A swollen feeling in the fingers, even if there is no visible swelling.
- Burning or tingling that is usually felt in the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
- Pain or numbness in the hands that may worsen at night and interrupt sleep.
- A tingling sensation that travels from the wrist up the arm. This typically occurs while holding an object such as a phone, book, steering wheel.
- A feeling of needing to “shake out” the hand to get rid of the numb feeling.
Minimally Invasive Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment Options
At the Center for Sports Medicine and Wellness, our doctors are dedicated to treating our patients with the least invasive treatment that will get them back to optimal health and activity as quickly as possible. That’s why in our practice, carpal tunnel syndrome treatment involves the most advanced, minimally invasive procedures.
Ultrasound Guided Nerve Hydrodissection
Ultrasound guided nerve hydrodissection is a technique commonly used to treat nerve entrapment, which is exactly what happens when carpal tunnel syndrome develops. This procedure is a great alternative to open surgery for many patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
During the procedure, ultrasound guidance is used to identify the entrapped nerve and guide a needle to the nerve. Then, a solution is injected around the nerve, separating it from whatever tissue or structures have compressed it. This alleviates numbness, tingling, and pain caused by the entrapment and allows nerves to heal.
Ultrasound Guided Carpal Tunnel Release & Sonex SX-One MicroKnife®
Ultrasound guided carpal tunnel release is an ultra-minimally invasive technique used for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. It’s typically performed using a local anesthetic, making it very safe for patients. Its ultra-minimally invasive nature also means that patients can resume their work and normal activities much sooner than they would after undergoing open carpal tunnel release. This is also why this technique is preferred by athletes with the goal of returning to their sport or training as quickly as possible.
When performing this procedure, ultrasound guidance is used with the Sonex SX-One MicroKnife, an extremely small instrument. This is a new, cutting-edge device that has made it possible for this procedure to be performed safely and effectively in an office setting. The Sonex SX-One MicroKnife is a disposable device that transects the transverse carpal ligament (TCL) as a successful carpal tunnel syndrome treatment.
During this procedure, ultrasound imaging is used to visualize the transverse carpal ligament and relevant anatomic structures in real-time. To perform the procedure, the SX-One MicroKnife is inserted through a small incision over the proximal carpal tunnel region. Once the device is in position, the Stealth MicroGuards are deployed and the TCL blade is advanced from the tip of the device to divide the TCL. once this is done, the TCL blade is returned to its original position and the Stealth MicroGuards are deflated. The SX-One MicroKnife is then removed and the incision is closed with an adhesive strip, bandage, or sutures, depending on what is necessary.
Minimally Invasive Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment in Delaware County
At the Center for Sports Medicine and Wellness, our doctors are committed to providing our patients with the most effective and advanced minimally invasive carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. Minimally invasive treatment has been proven to have high effectiveness for many types of conditions and sports injuries and many conditions simply don’t require open surgery, so there’s no reason why patients should feel that they need to put their bodies through this.
We are one of Delaware County’s premier practices for non-operative and minimally invasive sports medicine treatment. If you’ve sustained an injury and are looking for a treatment that can get you back in the game with minimal downtime, contact us to learn more about our services.
You can also schedule an appointment by calling our office in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, at (610) 459-4200 or filling out our form. We welcome your inquiry and we look forward to helping you find relief from your pain!