CTS is a compression neuropathy affecting nearly 12 million Americans, 7% of whom are manual laborers. These statistics explain the over half a million procedures in the US alone annually for patients with severe symptoms. CTS occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is pressed. Thus, a carpal procedure aims to transect the carpal ligament and reduce compression, relieving patients of pain, tingling, and numbness.
A carpal procedure is generally safe. Advancements in technology through the integration of ultrasound add to the procedure’s effectiveness. Images as small as 1 mm are visible in real-time, allowing for a guided procedure and guaranteeing excellent outcomes.
Read on to learn everything about the micro-invasive carpal tunnel procedure.
Who Needs A CTR Procedure?
Your doctor will recommend a CTR procedure after diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome. Diagnosis is through physical and medical history examination. You may also need an X-ray to check your wrist bones and blood tests to rule out thyroid problems, diabetes, or arthritis.
Upon verification of CTS, your doctor may propose a non-surgical intervention depending on severity before recommending surgery. Non-surgical interventions include physical therapy, over-the-counter medicines, change of work equipment, or steroid shots.
You qualify for a CTS procedure where these interventions fail, such that you have lasted over six months without relief or your wrist and hand become weak or smaller due to median nerve pinching.
Also Read: 5 Reasons To Get An MRI
Treatment Options For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
CTS is treatable through surgery to make room for the tendons and median nerve to move through the carpal tunnel.
Two surgical options for treating CTS are Traditional surgery and CTR, a Micro-invasive Carpal Tunnel Release. Traditional surgery was performed by cutting the transverse carpal ligament to appease the median nerve. While this procedure remedies the condition, it results in big scars and palmar pain and takes longer to recover.
The Micro-Invasive CTR offers an alternative to the traditional CTR by giving patients fast relief from pain, enabling them to return to normal life. The procedure uses the SX-One MicroKnife to perform CTR in a few minutes. This knife, combined with the ultrasound visualization, requires a small incision of 4-5mm on the wrist.
What To Expect During A Micro-Invasive CTR
CTR is an outpatient procedure; you will go home the same day. Before the procedure, you will dress in a hospital gown. The specialists will then administer a wide range of anesthetics to numb your hand and wrist.
The surgeon will make a 4-5 mm incision on your wrist and then insert the SX-One MicroKnife under ultrasound guidance. To protect your nearby nerves and tendons during the procedure, the surgeon will use stealth MicroGuards.
Using an advanced TCL Blade, the surgeons will cut the TCL on your wrist, reducing the pressure. Afterward, they will remove the SX-One MicroKnife and close the incision with a stitch, strip, or adhesive bandage.
Why Choose SX-One MicroKnife Over Traditional CTR?
Opting for the SX-One MicroKnife procedure to relieve CTR syndrome is a better option than the traditional surgery for the following benefits:
The procedure is outpatient and can be done in an office setting
The incision is small and can be closed without stitches or sutures
It reduces the need for opioids
It saves you the need for postoperative therapy, saving time and money
You can immediately move your hand, promoting quick recovery
You can return to routine in a few days
Lower risk of damage to surrounding nerves and blood vessels
What To Expect After A Micro-Invasive CTR Procedure?
After a CTR surgery, you will wear your bandage for a week or two, and the doctor will set an appointment to remove it. The doctor will prescribe pain medication for maximum comfort after the procedure.
Swelling may occur but elevating your hands, especially when sleeping at night, will decrease the effects. You should maintain the incision clean and dry.
Covering your hand with plastic while showering is advisable to prevent contact with water. You should also try slight movements of your hand and fingers to prevent stiffness. However, avoid heavy lifting as it will interfere with recovery.
Complete healing will take a few weeks, during which you can continue with your routine. This duration may vary depending on the severity of your condition, the healing process, and how well you rehabilitate your wrist.
While recovery from a CTS surgery is often smooth, talk to your doctor if you experience fever, redness, bleeding or other drainage or increased pain on the incision, as they may indicate an underlying problem requiring treatment.
Schedule Your CTR Procedure Appointment
CTR is uncomfortable and limiting, requiring medical intervention. If untreated, the condition can result in permanent nerve damage, affecting overall hand functionality.
While the condition can be manageable at the initial stages without surgery, talk to your doctor if the pain interrupts your daily life, as it may be time for surgery.