• News

A Real Believer Hits a Major Milestone

Mar 12th, 2024

A Real Believer Hits a Major Milestone

Dr. Richard Schaefer, a board-certified plastic surgeon with the SSM Health Fond du Lac Regional Clinic in Wisconsin, first began offering carpal tunnel release (CTR) procedures using UltraGuideCTR™ and real-time ultrasound guidance about three years ago. He’s become so convinced of its benefits that he recently hit a major milestone with it: his 1,000th patient treated.

“When I first learned about CTR with real-time ultrasound guidance (CTR-US), I was amazed at how much anatomic detail I could see. That started to make me a real believer,” says Dr. Schaefer. Prior to using CTR-US, Dr. Schaefer had a busy practice and performed around 250 CTR procedures a year using endoscopic carpal tunnel release. Today, thanks to the efficiency this approach brings, along with strong word-of-mouth from patients, he’s treating about 350 patients using the CTR-US approach per year.  

In his practice, his emphasis is on providing an enhanced patient experience, so he appreciates that he does not have to use general anesthesia for the CTR-US technique. This means patients can drive themselves to and from their appointments and it expands the number of patients who can find relief through CTR. “This is helpful for those patients who have health concerns with general anesthesia” says Dr. Schaefer. “Their health histories may preclude sedation, and this enables me to provide them with real, lasting carpal tunnel relief without anesthesia.”

Dr. Schaefer feels the shorter recovery is a major benefit of the approach, saying, “I believe the recovery from this technique is better and faster than anything else being offered.” Patients undergoing CTR-US can typically return to their normal activities within days, versus weeks or months with other techniques.

On reaching the 1,000-patient milestone, Dr. Schaefer says, “I am just humbled by the fact that I am able to bring this service to the communities I serve and that it has been received so well by patients. I am grateful for this less-invasive approach that has the potential to improve so many lives.”

“What’s different is the technology involved with this approach. I can visualize structures, locate them, and keep patients safe in a way that I feel far exceeds my ability to do so with other techniques. At the same time, I’m providing a technique that is ultra-minimally invasive for my patients,” he says.

Learn more about The Institute of Advanced Ultrasound Guided Procedures and our training programs to begin your MSK ultrasound training today.