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Avera Medical Minute: Relief from carpal tunnel through surgery

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Bob Foster has two big passions in life: riding his motorcycle and working with electricity.

“I’ve been an electrician for the last 35 years and it’s a lot of repetitive stuff,” he said. “And back when I began you didn’t have the power tools and that kind of things so it was getting all the little screws in by hand, tightening of the wire nuts it’s a lot of hands, finger type work.”

Three plus decades of working with his hands have taken its toll.

“It probably started about two years ago, I was getting some of the tingling and numbness in the fingers and so forth,” said Foster. It wasn’t until those symptoms started to affect his other passion that he decided to take action.

“Probably about last summer, getting to be more constant and that was starting to affect my motorcycle riding, my hands were falling asleep, that type of thing,” said Foster.

Bob met with Avera orthopedic surgeon Dr. Scott McPherson to go over his options.

“Robert presented with fairly common constant numbness, tingling, having difficulty gripping,” said Dr. McPherson. “Common conditions, such as Robert’s, are carpal tunnel syndrome, probably as common as anything I see.”

The two decided it was best to surgically fix the issue.

For Bob, the process was simple and smooth, and he was awake and alert for the whole procedure.

“It probably took about 6 minutes per hand,” he said. “It went pretty quick. The doctor and staff were great, they kept talking to me through the whole procedure to keep my mind occupied so I was relaxed. It was just a great experience the time it took, and the pleasantness and all that.”

Bob’s surgery was on Wednesday. He was back at work by that next Monday.

“What I tell them right away is I want them to use their hands right away for normal daily living,” said Dr. McPherson. “Eating, driving, writing, texting, dressing, keyboarding, all those things are fine you’re not going to cause any harm or damage.”

More information on Carpal Tunnel surgery can be found here: www.Avera.org/MedicalMinute.

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