Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects millions of Americans. According to the U.S. Dept of Labor, it costs two billion dollars a year in time lost from work. But now there's a new procedure giving sufferers relief from the pain and numbness that follows them wherever they go.
For years Lucy Lyons, of Rossmore, suffered from agonizing pain in her wrist. It was hard to sleep, hard to type, hard to text and talk on the phone. But she says by far the worst part was that it was too painful to hold her newborn son.
Lyons says it was heartbreaking, she went to her doctor in tears, but she wasn't sure if he could even help her. She says it was so painful that it was worse than her labor pains. After receiving cortizone shots for temporary relief, her doctor recomended trying something to cure her of the pain for good. It's a new, less invasive procedure called Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release.
A traditional carpal tunnel procedure requires a lengthy incision down the palm but when you do an endoscopic carpal tunnel release, you only make a small incision on the wrist. Dr. Steven Shin, a hand specialist at the kerlan-Jobe orthopaedic Clinic, says a smale blade attached to an endoscope can cut the carpal ligament quickly and effectively.
Dr. Shin says the procedure only takes about five minutes. Lucy says those five minutes have changed her life and she is definitely happy she doesn't have to wear her wristband anymore. She used to have to wear the wristband to sleep, eat, and drive. But it got so painful she stopped driving all together. She says after getting the minimally invasive surgery she has her freedom back.
And giving people back their freedom is really what this procedure is all about. Not only is Lyons pain free now, friends of hers who've gotten the traditional carpal tunnel surgery were out of work for eight weeks. Lyons had it done on a Friday and was back to work on Monday. For more information on the new procedure go to www.kerlanjobe.com