Patient Stories

Alexander S. Croog, MD

During the summer, Chris started to develop numbness and tingling in some of the fingers of his right hand. At first, he chalked it up to the more than average amount of typing he does in his job as a law librarian, using power tools, mowing the yard, and playing with his 2-year-old son, Owen. He later noticed some swelling in his palm and eventually felt pain radiating up his arm at night, depriving him of sleep. That was when he realized it was time to seek help.

After some rudimentary tests, his primary care doctor referred Reed to hand specialist Alexander Croog, MD. The swelling in Chris’s palm prompted Dr. Croog to quickly schedule an MRI to rule out such possibilities as a hand tumor. Dr. Croog then also referred him to a neurologist for nerve tests and a rheumatologist to investigate other possible causes for the symptoms, such as diabetes. After examining the results, Dr. Croog recommended that Chris undergo carpal tunnel release procedure.

“My pain was immediately relieved after surgery,” said Chris. “With a small incision at the base of my palm; it seemed like I was in and out of surgery, with very little time spent in post-op,” he recalled. “To relieve the discomfort of the incision, I only took my prescribed pain medication for two days.”

The outpatient surgery took place on Thursday, and Chris returned to work on Monday. Ten days later, Dr. Croog removed the bandage and the stitches. Chris noted, “I was very surprised that the scar was barely noticeable.”

Two months after surgery for his right hand, Chris had the same procedure on his left hand, which was starting to exhibit similar symptoms just before he had his first surgery.

He offered advice for people with carpal tunnel pain: 

“Do not fear that the surgery will put you out of commission for normal activities. Recovery is quick.” Recently, he took his own advice. “I installed the roof rack on my SUV, something I couldn’t have done last summer before the surgery.”