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Solving Patients’ Problems in the Best Way He Can

Jun 13th, 2024

Solving Patients’ Problems in the Best Way He Can

Dr. Paul Perry of Tri-State Orthopaedics in Evansville, Indiana recently surpassed a huge milestone: He has treated more than 1,000 patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome with carpal tunnel release using UltraGuideCTR™ and real-time ultrasound guidance.

He first started offering this technique to his patients in 2017 and he knew right away it would be good for his large orthopedic practice. Dr. Perry is one of 22 surgeons and has a busy patient load. What most surprised him about this technique was how quickly it grew in popularity with his patients due to the quick recovery time. Offering this minimally invasive approach to treat carpal tunnel syndrome has helped Dr. Perry double his CTR procedure volumes.

Can’t Live Without Ultrasound

“When I posed the idea of bringing ultrasonography to our practice, there was tremendous skepticism among my partners that this would give them any value. They thought, ‘why do we need ultrasound; we have MRI scans,’” recalls Dr. Perry. “Fast forward, and if you asked each one of them, they’d say, ‘we couldn’t live without ultrasound.’”

Dr. Perry, who has been in practice for 30 years, historically performed his carpal tunnel release using traditional approaches. These days, however, he uses carpal tunnel release with real-time ultrasound guidance in the vast majority of cases. “With the other techniques, it was hard to know where the safe zone was in terms of visualizing the nerve. Now, I know where that safe zone is at all times. When we’re able to clearly see more of what we’re doing, which is what ultrasound gives us, that it’s a better and safer procedure and patients appreciate that.”

Regardless of technique, patients can find great relief for their symptoms, but recovery times are another matter. “With ultrasound guidance, the recovery time is orders of magnitude faster than with traditional carpal tunnel release,” says Dr. Perry. He explains that patients who undergo this technique can return to the activities of daily living within a couple of days. For those who have occupations where they use their hands a lot, they’re usually able to go back to work within days, versus weeks with the traditional approach.

Patients Coming from Miles Away

It’s that rapid recovery that draws patients from near and far to their practice. “We have patients who live in rural communities, so it wasn’t unusual to have someone drive 60 or 90 minutes to see me. But now, I have people traveling two to three hours because we’re the only ones within a radius who offer this technique,” marvels Dr. Perry, adding that “there’s a joke about Evansville being a medical tourism destination for carpal tunnel surgery. It’s funny, but there’s a certain amount of truth in it.” 

He remembers one patient in particular, a studio musician, who traveled from Nashville to see him. “I was the closest option, and he wanted to get treatment for his carpal tunnel syndrome with this approach because he makes his living with his hands and didn’t want to miss work,” he says. Dr. Perry did one of the patient’s hands and a month later performed the same technique on the other hand.

“He was so happy with the results that he kept bugging me to come to Nashville and perform this procedure on all of his musician friends’ hands.”

Reaching the 1,000-procedure milestone has made Dr. Perry stop and reflect on what it means to offer a technique that allows his patients to get back to living their lives faster. “I enjoy doing the procedure because patients who usually think they’ll be out six weeks are only out a couple days to a couple weeks, max,” he says, adding, “As a practice we enjoy solving patients’ problems in the best way we can, and this approach is certainly one of the best.”

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