You have hand pain, maybe tingling, and you think you might have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - but what does that mean? Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common injury that occurs when excess pressure is put on the median nerve running through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, and shooting pains that wake you up at night . Living with constant pain, not sleeping well, and losing function can be frustrating and debilitating, especially if you cannot do the things you love.
You Have CTS – Now What?
Once you know you have CTS, then what? Traditionally, you can spend weeks, even months, going to appointments and tests trying to resolve CTS. “However, there is a better option: the Release and Relief procedure - a new minimally invasive procedure. The procedure aims to shrink the time spent diagnosing, testing, surgically correcting, and recovering from months to ONE day (also known as the “episode of care”). Shrinking the “episode of care” means less time in the doctors' office and a quicker return to normal life.
What is the “Episode of Care”?
The episode of care for any injury or illness is the time spent taking care of that specific injury or illness and, ideally, getting you back to full health . It starts at your first doctor's appointment and continues with every subsequent office visit, test, and procedure. You can expect an episode of care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to consist of 4-6 appointments over several weeks or months.
What Else Does a CTS Episode of Care Entail?
The first appointment for CTS involves diagnosing the issue. Most doctors use electromyography (EMG), a test to read the nerve activity in your wrist. Electrodes are inserted through the skin into the muscle tissue to relay information to the doctor to confirm the CTS. It’s costly, not to mention unpleasant
Some doctors may conduct additional tests, including blood work and x-rays. If you opt for remedies like splints, NSAIDS, or cortisone injections, your episode of care may be extended. Consider the time spent driving to and from appointments, time taken off from work, and interrupted routines or activities, which can increase stress levels.
Dr. Paul Paterson, an orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgeon, uses the latest technology to get patients with CTS in and out in just ONE day. This innovative procedure is known as Release and Relief. As a result, your CTS episode of care is whittled down to ONE office visit.
How Does Release and Relief Work?
After your assessment and confirmation of CTS, you will be scheduled for a procedure. You may take time to consider your options, or you can get it done there and then. First, Dr. Paterson will use ultrasound-guided technology to confirm the diagnosis – no electrodes are required. Then, local anesthesia is administered. Patients are fully awake and, and in fact, listening to music during the procedure. Dr. Paterson uses a specially designed instrument that works in tandem with ultrasound to complete the procedure quickly and efficiently. The Release and Relief procedure is finished in less than five minutes per hand, and patients are ready to go home – no long recovery, no physical therapy.
What About Follow-Up?
After the Release and Relief procedure, you can opt into a text service to stay connected with Dr. Paterson for check-ins the next day. No need to come back into the office unless it’s necessary. Dr. Paterson even provides his patients with his number to call him with any urgent questions and concerns.
Although saving time is a significant benefit of the Release and Relief procedure, quality is just as important. Rest assured Dr. Paterson delivers both. If you’re experiencing CTS symptoms, take our assessment quiz HERE. Or, click HERE and schedule an appointment online. For more information, you can also call the office at 716-500-HAND. You don’t have to wait weeks or months for relief; let Dr. Paterson get you back to enjoying life in just ONE Day.