Dr. Danzhu Guo, a pain and rehab medicine physician with BayCare Clinic, is one of the creators of the Guo Technique for treating carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed in the carpal tunnel, a narrow opening in the wrist. When this small tube is compressed, the nerve is affected, and the hand and fingers experience pain, numbness and restricted movement. Those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome often work with their hands in repetitive motions, for example, mechanics, typists and construction workers. Other risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome include past fractures or injuries, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The disorder affects millions of people worldwide and if left untreated, can lead to irreversible muscle atrophy and nerve damage.
What is the Guo Technique?
The Guo Technique, also called Thread Carpal Tunnel Release (TCTR), is a new, ultra-minimally-invasive procedure that is an alternative to the traditional surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome release. It was developed by Drs. Danzhu Guo and Danqing Guo, both BayCare Clinic Pain & Rehab Medicine physicians. The key to the procedure is its absence of skin incisions and use of ultrasound to guide a thread loop that transects or cuts the affected ligaments under the skin.
How does the Guo Technique work?
This procedure is done in the office. A local anesthetic is administered to numb the area of the arm. Ultrasound technology precisely maps the anatomy of the wrist and is used to guide a thin needle through the base of the hand underneath the transverse carpal ligament and out through the wrist. Through this needle, a thin, smooth thread is fed. Another needle is inserted through the wrist in a similar fashion and is guided by ultrasound over the transverse carpal ligament. The same thread is looped out of this needle and through the original needle site. The thread surrounds the transverse carpal ligament and is manipulated in a back-and-forth motion to divide the ligament and release pressure on the median nerve. Once complete, the thread is removed and the wrist is bandaged. Patients have two small adhesive bandages placed over the needle sites. The entire process takes approximately 30-60 minutes, although the procedure itself is typically less than 15 minutes.
Is the procedure safe?
Over 170 procedures have been completed safely. Our patient satisfaction and return to unrestricted activity rate is excellent. Our data shows that patients generally report a significant decrease in the severity of their symptoms within 24 hours of the procedure which is statistically significant when compared to traditional carpal tunnel surgery. Additionally, patients report an improvement in function that is statistically significant when compared to traditional surgery.
Where can people go for more information?
Visit tctrprocedure.com or call 920-288-8377.