Carpal Tunnel Release Helps Patient Regain Use of Her Hand
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and nerve injuries stemming from a dog attack made it impossible for Maria to use her left hand. Then she met Dr. Tollestrup. Maria agreed to share her story below in hopes of reaching others.
Maria was attacked by a dog in August, 2015, and sustained bite injuries to the left forearm just above the wrist. She suffered lacerations to both the front and back of the forearm from the dog’s teeth. Although the lacerations healed quickly, Maria started to experience severe pain and numbness involving the skin over the front side of the forearm. Next, the pain and numbness started to spread into the thumb and index finger as well as the middle finger. It got so bad that Maria began having a hard time using the left hand, her dominant hand, as it became increasingly difficult to voluntarily move the thumb and index finger. Her grip strength started to deteriorate and she began having trouble holding onto things with the left hand, often inadvertently dropping item from her grasp.
Maria was referred to Dr. Tim Tollestrup by her neurologist after seeing an orthopedic surgeon who didn’t have any solutions. Based on the location of the pain and numbness in the forearm, Dr. Tollestrup realized that the dog bite had injured a nerve in the forearm called the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve. This was then compounded with the development of carpal tunnel syndrome which was the source of pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand.
Maria underwent surgery by Dr. Tollestrup who did a carpal tunnel release to relieve the pressure on the median nerve to the hand. He also disconnected the damaged nerve up near the elbow and sewed on a nerve graft which acts as a cap on the nerve, preventing the nerve from forming another painful neuroma on the end.
Now at two months post-op, Maria is completely pain free and able to once again use the left hand normally. All of the numbness and tingling in the left forearm and hand has completely resolved. Maria is ecstatic because she can now hold her coffee mug once again in the left hand.
“I am so thankful for the excellent outcome from my surgery with Dr. Tollestrup.”*
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