Health Plus: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome relief - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome relief


An endoscopic carpal tunnel procedure is a minimally-invasive fix to help relieve carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome reportedly affects eight million Americans and, without surgery, doctors say relief may never come and permanent nerve damage can result.

Among those affected was Tony Myers, who before becoming a registered nurse was a longtime construction worker.

The physical labor caused carpal tunnel syndrome.

"Oh my hands were falling asleep. They'd wake me up at night. They'd hurt and ache with no relief from anything,"  Myers said.

The Cedar Falls man decided when his symptoms worsened surgery was his only option for pain relief.

"I've had small symptoms before but when they start falling asleep all the time when you're not doing anything with them, you're going there's something wrong," Tony said.

That's where Doctor Gary Knudson comes in.

The Covenant Clinic orthopedic surgeon in Waterloo did an endoscopic carpal tunnel procedure on Tony.

 "There's an issue with permanent damage to the nerve if pressure's been on there for a long enough period of time; some of the fibers lose their blood supply and no longer function. So the longer they wait, the more permanent damage can be done and the less recovery patients may see," said Doctor Gary Knudson.

During the procedure, tiny cutting tools are inserted through the natural crease of your wrist, allowing the transverse carpal ligament to be cut, releasing pressure on the median nerve.

"Come in, have a simple block where they can still be somewhat awake or sedated a little bit so they don't really notice much. Within about 25 or 30 minutes they're back in the outpatient area, eat, drink and usually within a half hour to 45 minutes can go home," Dr. Knudson said.

This less invasive approach means a faster healing and recovery time, too.

Doctor Knudson has done nearly 3,000 of these carpal tunnel procedures.

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