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Fond du Lac surgeon celebrates his 1,000th carpal tunnel procedure using new ultrasound technology

Posted at 6:49 PM, Mar 07, 2024

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — A Fond du Lac surgeon celebrating his 1,000th carpal tunnel release procedure using new ultrasound technology.

Dr. Richard Schaefer with SSM Health is only the third doctor in the world to reach this milestone.

Carpal tunnel syndrome was traditionally treated with an incision in the palm of someone’s hand and cut a ligament deep inside.

But Dr. Richard Schaefer with SSM Health said the ultrasound technology is much less invasive.

"Through the new technique, we're able to see that ligament with ultrasound and then very carefully insert a device underneath that ligament and release it from underneath, thereby keeping the incision off of the palm of the hand and allowing for a speedier recovery," Dr. Schaefer said.

His patient Dr. Steven Stobeck got carpal tunnel surgery in both hands. One hand was treated with the traditional procedure, and the other was treated with the ultrasound procedure."It was a night and day difference," Dr. Stobeck said.

Dr. Schaefer currently works in Fond du Lac, Ripon and Waupun.