I’ve dealt with my arms going to sleep
or feeling numb for several years,” said Behrends. “The intense pain at night is more recent and not something that was easy to deal with. I would get about two hours of sleep before both symptoms would wake me. I then had to sit up and try sleeping that way. It wasn’t
comfortable and was very concerning.
I knew I needed to do something.”
Lucky for Behrends, Jones Regional Medical Center (JRMC) has several specialty clinics. “I live in Monticello
and knew some of the orthopedic
specialists from Cedar Rapids were seeing patients at Jones Regional in Anamosa,” said Behrends. “The hospital is just a short drive from my house and
I really appreciate how convenient it is to see a doctor.”
Behrends met with Peter Pardubsky, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa (PCI) who specializes in hand surgery about his increased hand and arm numbness and pain. Dr. Pardubsky and several other PCI orthopedic doctors see patients in the specialty clinic.
“My first meeting with Dr. Pardubsky went really well,” said Behrends.
“He and I talked about my symptoms. Then he performed an exam and
reviewed some of my test results.
This information led him to recommend
I have carpal tunnel surgery.”
“A lot of people may not realize this
but carpal tunnel, if left untreated, can lead to permanent sensory loss in the fingers, permanent muscle loss in
the hand, loss in pinch or grasp strength
and difficulty using the hand for holding objects,” explained Dr. Pardubsky.
“It’s a functional surgery for the use
of an individual’s hand. Initially we
may have the patient try an assortment
of conservative treatments like
splinting at night, ice, or warm water
for symptomatic relief or a steroid (cortisone) injection. Many times the symptoms progress and surgery is needed – as it was in Kent’s case.”
Carpal tunnel has many causes and
typically presents in adults, mostly with the onset of tingling and numbness in
the fingers. Symptoms include waking
at night, difficulty driving or holding
reading materials with discomfort
and in some cases, burning pain.
“I definitely wanted to pursue the
procedure,” said Behrends. “I didn’t
want the situation to get any worse.
I was pleased it could be done at
Jones Regional. It’s a great hospital
and it’s so close to home.”
“Carpal tunnel release surgery is done
as an outpatient procedure,” said
Dr. Pardubsky. “I operate on one hand
at a time and it is a relatively simple
procedure, which takes about 30 to
40 minutes with a fairly rapid recovery. It reduces an individual’s symptoms and improves the use of their hands. It’s an ideal procedure to offer at an outreach location such as Jones Regional.”
“Dr. Pardubsky operated on my right hand first and then my left about a month later,” said Behrends. “I was
given a choice of using a local anesthetic or to go under and I chose to stay
awake during the procedure with the local anesthetic.”
After surgery Behrends experienced
very little pain and some weakness
but overall the procedure was easy.
He missed about a week of work
after each surgery.
Top notch care
“The recovery is pretty easy,” said
Dr. Pardubsky. “Kent had to wear a
bandage on his hand for about a week and had stitches removed at Jones
Regional a week after surgery. Initially
we tell people not to lift anything over
five pounds but many individuals are back to normal routines within a few days after surgery as comfort allows and almost all activities within two weeks.”
“I am so glad I had this surgery,” said Behrends. “The numbness in my hands is now starting to go away. I am grateful this procedure is offered at Jones Regional. It really is convenient and we have such a great facility in Anamosa. The people who work there are wonderful and give top notch care. I highly recommend the procedure and facility.”
To learn more about surgical options visit unitypoint.org/surgery.