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Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release in Houston, TX

Carpal tunnel issues can develop for a number of different reasons, and many times, the exact cause cannot be determined. Fortunately, the solution to the pain can be found at Premier Plastic Surgery. Dr. Christopher Hankins was the first author of the landmark paper published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery citing the benefits of the endoscopic surgical approach for carpal tunnel treatment over the open technique. His practice helps patients in Houston, Pearland, Lake Jackson and the surrounding neighborhoods of South Houston.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the medical term for compression of the median nerve at the wrist. Since this nerve supplies sensation to the thumb, middle, and thumb side of the ring finger, compression of the nerve compromises its ability to function and remain pain free. Additionally, the median nerve is responsible for providing innervation to the thumb muscles powering opposition; therefore, when compromised, results in loss of hand functionality and increased pain in the wrist and hand. Left unattended, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to muscle atrophy of the thenar eminence as well as irreversible nerve damage. That is why this syndrome should be promptly evaluated and treated.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Numbness and tingling of the fingers
  • Clumsiness of the affected hand
  • Dropping objects held in the hand
  • Pain in wrist, hand or extending up to shoulder at night

About the “No Stitch Carpal Tunnel Release” Carpal Tunnel Surgery at Premier Plastic Surgery

At Premier Plastic Surgery, Dr. Christopher Hankins offers carpal tunnel treatment for the relief of hand and wrist pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome via an endoscopic technique that leaves no scars, called “No Stitch Carpal Tunnel Release.”

Dr. Hankins has authored a landmark paper published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery citing the benefits of the Instratek two portal endoscopic surgical approach to carpal tunnel release over the open technique after a study of 14,722 patients.

There is another group in town that claims on their website to have published the very same paper, “with other colleagues”, when the “other colleagues” was in fact the first author of the paper! Not a single member of that group wrote a single sentence of the paper let alone have any level of participation in the production of the paper that conformed to the definition of authorship.

In the open approach, there is an incision that results in discontinuity of all the tissue planes from the skin to the nerve, resulting in a continuous tethering of scars bridging the distance from the skin to the nerve.

Conversely, in the endoscopic approach, with the exception of the transverse carpal ligament, all of the tissue planes are left intact resulting in much less scar tissue deposition in the vicinity of the median nerve.

This allows the remaining tissue planes to glide freely over each other during motion of the hand. More importantly, the endoscopic technique has been shown to have a shorter recovery time and better safety record than the open approach.

Dr. Hankins believes endoscopic carpal tunnel release is much safer than the open method, and that the sooner a release of the carpal tunnel is done following the onset of symptoms, the better the chance to minimize the risk of permanent nerve injury.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome FAQS

  • Can carpal tunnel syndrome come and go? Yes, carpal tunnel syndrome can wax and wane, but it is far better to intervene as soon as possible to avoid the risk of permanent nerve injury.
  • How do you relieve carpal tunnel syndrome? The common mechanism of treatment is release of pressure on the median nerve by division of the transverse carpal ligament.
  • How long does it take to perform carpal tunnel surgery? Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery can be completed in less than 10 minutes! The recovery from surgery is usually approximately an hour and then are sent to the holding area to be discharged to a responsible adult to take them home.
  • How long does it take to recover from carpal tunnel surgery? It takes only a few days for the openings to close, and most activities of daily living can be resumed in a week. We have even had self-employed people, even mechanics, return to work during the first postoperative week against medical advice and present to the clinic with oil and grease all over their dressings. You may get a twinge every so often when you open a door knob or turn a key for up to six weeks, but the discomfort is minor.
  • What is the average cost of carpal tunnel surgery? Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery is usually covered by insurance. The only costs to the patient are the insurance deductible if it has not been met at the time of surgery.
  • What kind of doctor do you see for carpal tunnel syndrome? It is recommended that you see a plastic surgeon or an orthopedic surgeon with a special interest in hand surgery who has completed a hand surgery fellowship.

To learn more about carpal tunnel surgery, contact the office today and schedule a personal complimentary consultation with Dr. Hankins. Premier Plastic Surgery is pleased to offer services to men and women living in Houston, Pearland, Lake Jackson and the surrounding areas of South Houston.