Hand Surgery Services and Procedures
Your hands, fingers, and wrists sustain a lot of stress throughout each day and over your lifetime. This leaves them at high risk of sustaining injuries and developing joint problems. Our Omaha, NE hand specialist, Doctor Bruce Watkins, offers a wide range of services and procedures meant to alleviate pain and discomfort while increasing strength and mobility.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a pathway in the wrist that the median nerve passes through. Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to a condition where the median nerve is compressed inside this pathway, cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the wrist, hand, and fingers.
Our carpal tunnel specialist in Omaha can help relieve your pain and discomfort through physical therapy, exercises, and surgery.
Speak With Our Omaha Hand Specialist if You Notice Any of the Following Symptoms:
- Numbness in the hand or fingers
- Tingling in the hand or fingers
- Pain in the wrist
- Limited wrist mobility
- Reduced tensile strength
- Waking up and feeling numbness
How Our Omaha Wrist Specialist Can Help
The first step in getting help from an orthopedic hand specialist is receiving a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. This is often done with a simple physical examination and a discussion of the patient’s medical history and symptoms. However, there are cases where a nerve conduction study is needed. If this is the case, we will walk you through the process.
Our hand and wrist doctor prefers to start with conservative methods of treatment. This means making certain adjustments (for example, purchasing an ergonomic keyboard and better desk chair), wearing splints for a short while, using anti-inflammatory medications, and engaging in physical therapy.
Surgical intervention, though highly effective, is generally considered a last resort. Our hand surgery specialist can perform carpal tunnel release with an open surgical field or endoscopically. Depending on the circumstances, this procedure can be done under full anesthesia, sedation, or with just local anesthetic.
Open carpal tunnel release allows for better visualization and the ability to address more complex issues that might not be discovered until the surgery is underway. However, it means a larger incision and eventual scar and requires more aftercare. An endoscopic approach means less pain and faster healing but it does place more limits on the orthopedic hand surgeon.
Sometimes, carpal tunnel surgery doesn’t work out so well the first time around, and in other cases, additional repetitive strain injuries can develop. In these situations, our hand surgeon must perform revision surgery. This is done under general anesthesia and covers corrections such as scar tissue removal while also protecting the nerves with a collagen wrap.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hand Surgery Services and Procedures
1What are common reasons for carpal tunnel surgery?
Carpal tunnel lease is a last resort. Our Omaha hand doctor always goes with less-invasive options first. If these fail to alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is time to consider surgery. We suggest you keep your mind open to the possibility if your carpal tunnel syndrome flares up often, never goes away, or is otherwise negatively impacting your quality of life.
2What happens after hand surgery?
You work with your orthopedic hand specialist to ensure you recover well. They’ll monitor how you heal and offer suggestions on things you can do to prevent a relapse. Once you are recovered enough, you’ll start with things like simple exercises and orthopedic devices to increase mobility and prevent strain.
3Are men and women equally at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome?
No, women are about three times more likely to develop the syndrome than men are, even when they are pretty much equal in repetitive strain on their wrists. As such, our hand injury doctor treats more female patients, but we work with men and women alike on addressing carpal tunnel syndrome.
4How long is recovery likely to last after hand and wrist surgery?
This is highly individual. Some people are fully recovered after about 4 weeks, while others take months to feel fully recovered. Our hand and wrist specialist will support you throughout your recovery and ensure that all goes well.