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Hand News

Novel Operation for Thumb Arthritis and Carpal Tunnel

Doctors at the Boston Medical Center have found a way to do two operations on the wrist and hand with one incision. They used a special L-shaped cut called the Wagner incision. In this operation, the trapezium bone can be removed and the transverse carpal ligament can be cut.

Now surgeons can treat thumb arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome at the same time. This is important because patients often have both problems together. A single operation cuts down costs and time in recovery. There are fewer problems because the nerve inside the carpal tunnel isn't disturbed. The single scar looks better too.

This study was done on four cadavers (upper limbs saved after death for study). The exact steps of the operation are described in detail for any interested surgeon. The authors say based on their results, the Wagner incision can be used to do a two-part operation in one-step safely.

Charles Cassidy, MD, et al. Basal Joint Arthroplasty and Carpal Tunnel Release Through a Single Incision: An In Vitro Study. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. November 2004. Vol. 29A. No. 6. Pp. 1085-1088.


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