An innovative hand surgery at Olathe Medical Center (OMC) has doctors and patients alike, giving the procedure two thumbs up. Patients like Susan Clifford of Shawnee, who had suffered from pain and numbness in her hands for years due to carpal tunnel syndrome.
“While driving, my hands would go numb, affecting my ability even to feel the steering wheel,” Susan said. “I’m a real estate broker, and my hand numbness made it difficult and time-consuming to type up contracts. I’d have to stop and wait for them to “wake up” and start again.”
Susan’s primary care doctor referred her to Matthew Drake, MD, a hand surgeon with Olathe Health Johnson County Orthopedics and Sports Medicine – Olathe. He recommended wide-awake hand surgery, which is performed using only local anesthesia.
“There are many advantages of wide-awake surgery,” Dr. Drake said. “Most of all, for our patients, it’s a painless surgery that takes very little time to perform. There’s no IV or pre-surgery prep, and it’s an option for patients with medical conditions who may not be candidates for the traditional surgery with general anesthesia. Overall, we see less post-operative swelling and pain, with a quick recovery and low risk for complications.”
Dr. Drake performed wide-awake surgery on Susan’s right hand in December 2019, and her left hand in January of this year. Both times Susan was able to drive herself home after surgery.
“I had no pain, only a little tenderness which was easily managed with an anti-inflammatory,” Susan said. “I had the three to four stitches taken out after a week and wore a small bandage for a day after that. I had full use of my hands with absolutely NO numbness at all. I truly wish I had not waited so long to have the procedure.”
Wide-awake hand surgery can be used to treat various conditions, such as carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel release, tendon repair, ligament repair, fracture repair, joint fusions, thumb arthritis surgery and trigger finger release.
To learn more, or to make an appointment with Dr. Drake, please call Olathe Health Johnson County Orthopedics and Sports Medicine – Olathe at 913-782-1148.