Hand & Wrist Surgery

Princeton Hand Surgeon Offers Carpal Tunnel Surgery & More

When your hand or wrist is injured, the team at the Perry Memorial Orthopedic Clinic can provide the personalized care you need. Dr. Allen Van is an experienced orthopedic surgeon who excels in treating a variety of hand and wrist conditions:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome results from pressure on the median nerve where the wrist meets the palm. This can cause pain, tingling, numbness and weakness.
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an overuse injury that irritates the tendons around the thumb. It is commonly seen in new mothers who repeatedly lift their infants and toddlers, and can even be caused by playing video games for long times.
  • Trigger finger is another stenosing tenosynovitis condition in which a tendon in the palm locks down one of the fingers in a bent position. It is often seen in people with diabetes or arthritis, although sometimes the cause is unknown.
  • Fractures of the hand or wrist require delicate resetting to ensure an optimal recovery, and some are severe enough to require surgery.

Like other orthopedic conditions, some hand and wrist problems can be resolved without surgery through rest, splinting, physical therapy and injections. However, patients who want lasting relief from their hand conditions might find that surgery is their best option.

Minimally Invasive Carpal Tunnel Surgery (CTR) Speeds Patient Recovery

Dr. Van offers carpal tunnel release (CTR) surgery to widen the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is the space that lies beneath the transverse carpal ligament and between the wrist and the palm of the hand. Widening this space takes pressure off the median nerve and relieves carpal tunnel syndrome.

To provide CTR, Dr. Van uses minimally invasive arthroscopic methods. A long, thin tube is inserted through a small incision, allowing Dr. Van to see inside the wrist and complete the procedure. This approach results in small scars of less than 1 cm compared to a long, 2-4 cm scar with traditional open carpal tunnel surgery. While smaller scars are nice, the main benefit of minimally invasive CTR is that the tissue in the palm does not need to be cut open and divided. Avoiding this invasive step helps patients recover from surgery faster.

Tendon Release Surgery for Hand & Wrist Overuse Injuries

If trigger finger or de Quervain’s syndrome is severe or does not improve with non-surgical treatments, Dr. Van provides tendon release surgery. Through minimally invasive arthroscopy, Dr. Van cuts the sheath around the affected tendons. This gives swollen tendons more room to move, relieving pain and freeing up movement.

Treatment for Hand Fractures & Broken Wrists

When patients experience a fracture to the hand or wrist, they require delicate resetting of bones and a cast, splint or brace. For most patients, this can be done without surgery. Local anesthesia may be used to block pain during the bone resetting process.

However, Dr. Van will carefully study a patient’s x-rays. If the bones in a hand or wrist fracture cannot be reset to line up properly, Dr. Van provides surgery. He might use metal pins, screws or other devices to hold the pieces of bone in their proper places as they heal.

Outpatient Hand Surgery with Local Anesthesia

The majority of hand and wrist surgeries at the Perry Memorial Orthopedic Clinic are done under local anesthesia. While patients stay partially awake during their operations, they are made comfortable and cannot see nor feel their procedure. Surgery is often safer when done without general anesthesia. Patients also tend to find that immediate recovery after surgery is easier.

If you have pain, tingling, or numbness in your hand or wrist, schedule a consultation with Dr. Van to find out about non-surgical and surgical treatment options. Call 815-876-3033