After quick diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, Christopher is riding his bike again

An avid cyclist for 11 years, Christopher Wise had to stop enjoying his daily ride to work after he lost feeling and strength in his right hand and couldn’t grip the handlebar anymore.

It wasn’t until Christopher visited University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics for a different issue that he learned he had carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition in which the nerve that provides feeling to the hand gets squeezed and stops functioning properly.

Christopher, 51, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was quickly diagnosed that same day by UI orthopedic surgeon Ericka Lawler, MD, who specializes in treating the hand and wrist. A week later, Lawler performed carpal tunnel release surgery to restore the feeling and strength to Christopher’s hand.

In less than one month, Christopher had his feeling and grip back, and three months later he was riding his bike again.

“The ease with which Christopher was able to move through the system shows the university’s commitment to evaluate and treat patients as soon as possible,” Lawler says. “Patients have same-day or next-day access to our advanced-trained hand specialists.”

Christopher agrees. As grateful as he was to have a working right hand again, he was also highly impressed by how quickly he received care.

His original appointment that day was with UI orthopedic surgeon Nicolas Noiseux, MD, FRCSC, to talk about Christopher’s hip pain. But during the visit, Noiseux noticed that Christopher’s right hand was shaky. Noiseux immediately referred Christopher to Lawler.

Minutes later, Lawler was examining Christopher’s hand. She used ultrasound to diagnose the carpal tunnel syndrome and recommended surgery for the following week.

“I received unbelievable service from the staff that day,” Christopher says. “I expected to wait, but the process was quick.”

Christopher says that same level of care and concern carried him through recovery, which included a month of wearing a brace and not being able to use his hand at all. For weeks after the surgery, nurses called to check up with him, and as the months went on, he still received follow-up calls.

“I asked a lot of questions,” Christopher says. “The nurses and physicians answered every single one with in-depth answers, and they never seemed agitated or offended by any of them.”

Cedar Rapids, Iowa