4 Surefire Signs of a Top-Notch Carpal Tunnel Surgeon

4 Surefire Signs of a Top-Notch Carpal Tunnel Surgeon

If you’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, you know all about pain, numbness, and tingling in your hand and arm. It’s a common condition that occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand from your wrist becomes squeezed or compressed, and it can get worse over time. Surgery may be recommended to relieve the pressure on the nerve.

That’s when you’ll need to know these 4 Surefire Signs of a Top-Notch Carpal Tunnel Surgeon.

1. They’re a board-certified specialist.

When it comes to your hands, not just any doctor will do. A top-notch carpal surgeon should be board-certified in orthopedic surgery AND specialize in hand surgery. The more experience a doctor has with carpal tunnel surgery , the better your results are likely to be. At Orthopedic Institute, our board-certified hand specialists are Dr. Blake Curd and Dr. David Jones.

2. They won’t recommend surgery first.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can often be treated without surgery – through the use of braces, corticosteroids and changes to your daily routine. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms for a long period of time with no relief, or if your symptoms have begun dramatically interfering with your daily life, surgery may be right for you. The important thing is to arrive at that decision WITH your doctor during the course of treatment. If they recommend surgery the first time they meet you, it’s time to look for a second opinion.

3. They have excellent satisfaction ratings.

Do your homework! A quick search of any potential surgeon’s name online can give you a wealth of information – including whether or not they are in good standing with state and federal agencies, or have a history of malpractice claims. We’re proud of how the Orthopedic Institute team rates on Healthgrades.com.

4. They take time to talk with you.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list based on certification, experience and track record – it’s time to consider one final criteria: communication. Will your surgeon take the time to sit down with you, explain his or her process and what you can expect? Or will you only be meeting with them on the day of your surgery? (Hint: don’t settle for that last one.) Ask for a consultation appointment where you can meet and interview your surgeon.

Ready to take the next step? Make an appointment today or visit one of our walk-in clinics.

Understanding Arthritis (And What Your Options Are)

Understanding Arthritis (And What Your Options Are)

There are nearly 40 million people in the United States affected by some form of arthritis.

Which means one very likely thing—odds are, you know someone with arthritis. You might even have it yourself. The unfortunate fact of the matter is, though, that a majority of Americans are ignorant to the true details of the disease until after they’re diagnosed. And this keeps them from taking the appropriate steps within their power to avoid the onset.

Read on to learn a bit more about the disease itself, in what forms it comes and what you can do to prevent it.

What are the symptoms?

Arthritis can be misdiagnosed and mistaken for other common aches and pains. While a majority of people will experience pain and stiffness regularly as they age, it’s when hands and knees become increasingly swollen and immobile when you should be concerned about arthritis.

How is it caused?

When inflammation develops in the tissue that lines your joints, these areas can become painful and stiff. Essentially, think of any place where two bones meet, like your elbows and knees – these are common areas to encounter arthritic symptoms.

What are the types of arthritis?

While there is a vast variety of types of arthritis – some even estimate it’s in the hundreds – most cases fall into three common types.


More often than not, a person who contracts the disease will be suffering from this type of arthritis. It’s caused by general wear and tear that may include overuse of your joints or simply getting older. It can be injury-based (making it especially common in athletic or active people) or weight-based.

Where you see it: Most commonly found in weight-bearing joints, such as knees, hips and feet

How to detect it: This type of arthritis is accompanied by deep pain; difficulty with simply, everyday activities like getting dressed and crouching; and regular stiffness during the morning hours

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Not all forms of arthritis are caused by usage over time and aging. This type, in fact, is a disease related to your immune system in which, many believe, the body is attacked systematically and particularly in the joints. Some researchers have attributed this to the body merely confusing elements of its own systems for virus or disease and attacking itself.

Where you see it: Can be found in any joints throughout the body – it varies greatly from person to person

How to detect it: This type of arthritis is accompanied by symptoms similar to the ones found in osteoarthritis – just more intense, and, for joints that come in pairs, you’ll likely experience these symptoms in both (i.e., knees, elbows, etc.)

Psoriatic Arthritis

Sometimes inflammation of the skin and joints can cause arthritic conditions – and it’s the third-most-common form of the disease. Though borne out of psoriasis, only about 10-30 percent of people with psoriasis end up with related arthritis. Also, unlike the above types, it might just affect one or two joints, rather than most or all.

Where you see it: Most commonly found through swelling of the fingers and toes

How to detect it: This type of arthritis is accompanied by symptoms such as discoloration of the fingernails and patchy, red skin

What can I do?

Despite the fact that there is no surefire way to keep from getting arthritis, there are things under your control that can help keep your joints healthy and mobile. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can stave off osteoarthritis, which is most often caused by obesity when found in young people. By avoiding injury, you can prevent chronic conditions – be careful during athletic activities and get properly trained. Finally, quitting smoking actually has a great effect on contraction of rheumatoid arthritis – keeping off cigarettes keeps your immune system strong.

While there’s no one way to prevent or diagnose arthritis, there are things in your power to affect change—take care of yourself and make smart decisions, and it’ll pay off in your older years.

Halloween Safety Tips from Orthopedic Institute


Enjoying Halloween is all about the preparation. Finding the ideal costume, decorating the house, planning the route, purchasing the candy and decorating the perfect pumpkin. But along with the fun, there are numerous Halloween injuries. Orthopedic Institute would like to help you stay safe this Halloween with expert advice and tips.

“Unfortunately, every year we see multiple injuries that occur as a result of carving pumpkins,” says Blake Curd, M.D., a fellowship-trained hand surgeon for Orthopedic Institute. “Although fun and enjoyable, it can turn tragic when people are not careful. There are special tools designed for carving pumpkins. Most of them are serrated knives with a plastic handle. I encourage my patients to use those types of tools instead of the standard kitchen knife to avoid raising their risk of injury.”

Statistics from 2007-2011 show the following injuries around Halloween among children 18 years and younger:

  • Children, ages 10-14 sustained the greatest portion of injuries at 29 percent
  • Head injuries accounted for the greatest portion of injuries at 17 percent followed by finger/hand injuries at 14.2 percent
  • Of the finger/hand injuries sustained, 25.6 percent were lacerations and 15.2 percent were Fractures

To help reduce the risk for injury on Halloween, the AAOS and POSNA offer the following safety tips:

Pumpkin carving

  • Use a pumpkin carving kit, or knives specifically designed for carving. These are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin.
  • Children should not carve pumpkins unless supervised closely by an adult. Some Halloween carving devices, designed especially for children, may be safe for use with parental supervision.  Younger children can use paint, markers or other non-carving decoration kits. Always carve pumpkins in a clean, dry and well-lit area and make sure there is no moisture on the carving tools or your hands.
  • Beware of sharp carving tools!  If you are cut, apply pressure with a clean cloth and elevate the area above the heart. If bleeding does not stop within 10-15 minutes or if the cut is deep, evaluation by a physician might be needed.  Make sure cuts are cleaned and dressed with clean bandages.


  • Walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways. Obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Costumes should be flame-resistant and fit properly. The child’s vision should be unobstructed by masks, face paint or hats. Costumes that are too long may cause kids to trip and fall, so trim or hem them as necessary.
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.
  • Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit. Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of neighborhood dogs when trick-or-treating. Remember that these pets can pose a threat when you approach their home.
  • Avoid candles in Halloween decorations.  Instead, use non-flammable light sources, like glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights.
  • Carry a cell phone while trick-or-treating in case of an emergency.

Have a safe and happy Halloween from Orthopedic Institute.