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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Surgery Stops the Pain
DMC Ortho Surgery specialist uses surgery to treat patients suffering from pain and loss of function due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Joseph Failla M.D.
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Harper University Hospital
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Cinzia Mikfitz lived with pain in both her hands, until she sought the help of DMC Orthopedic Surgery Specialist Dr. Joseph Faillla. He quickly diagnosed Cinzia with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a feeling of numbness, tingling or pain, most commonly in the thumb and the first three fingers.
The pain is caused by a pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel, the route through which the median nerve goes from the forearm to the hand. The median nerve gives sensation to these four fingers and also gives motor power to the large group of muscles there. In that tunnel, along with the nerve, are all the tendons that goes to the fingers – two for each finger and one for the thumb. With that many strong tendons in the carpal tunnel, things can get crowded. And as time goes on, the tunnel narrows and the lining of the tendons thicken, and that can put pressure on the nerve.
The muscles in your hand are intricate and interconnected so when the median nerve is pressured, it can result not only in pain, but also in a loss of motor function – patients may have difficulty with basic operations, like buttoning clothing or opening containers. Eventually, the muscle may atrophy, or become weakened and useless.
Treatment options are standard, according to Dr. Failla. “If it’s moderate or mild, you can treat them with a splint. This can control the symptoms for awhile, and is helpful if a patient cannot miss long periods of work. You can also do a carpal tunnel injection of steroids to lessen the symptoms.” But when these treatments fail, and the patient’s condition does not improve, then surgery will help.
For Cinzia, Dr. Failla opens the tunnel surgically, and makes an incision on a ligament that is pressing down on the median nerve. This widens the tunnel space, and keeps the nerve free of pressure, while still protecting it inside the tunnel. Recovery is not without some initial pain and effort. With proper rehab, carpal tunnel surgery patients like Cinzia, who had both her wrists done, are looking at about six weeks before being able to return to work.
Cinzia experienced two weeks of pain, and then began to get her strength back, declaring that the surgery was “definitely worth it.”
To connect with Dr. Joseph Failla or any other DMC Orthopedic Surgery Specialist, call 888-DMC-2500.
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Harper University Hospital
Joseph Failla M.D.
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Board Certified: Orthopaedic Surgery, Hand Surgery Clinical Interests: Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Fractures, Hand Surgery
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