Master’s Unplugged

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Susan E. Mackinnon, MD

Shoenberg Professor, Division Chief
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Washington University School of Medicine


The chapters that will follow share what I consider to be the most important knowledge that I have on any particular topic. My oldest daughter Megan is an orthopedic hand surgeon. I wrote these chapters from my heart to her. Every time I would work on these chapters, I would first put myself in that intimate space to convey something that I care deeply about to someone who I love so much. I was very surprised to see how different this writing is. These chapters include my experience that I’ve learned combining clinical problems with answers generated in the laboratory over many decades. This is the type of information that a maser surgeon-scientist would generate, but combined with an intensely heartfelt message.

Mackinnon SE
July 24, 2016

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most prevalent compression neuropathy that is related to a large number of etiologies, however involves the compression of the median nerve through the carpal tunnel. Patients present with parenthesis/pain within the median nerve territory of the hand and thenar weakness. The severity of these symptoms depends on the degree of injury to which the compression has attributed. Release of the carpal tunnel involves dividing the flexor retinaculum (transverse carpal ligament), which decompresses the median nerve. There are a number of factors in performing a successful carpal tunnel release and this section will discuss and help in attaining a successful release and patient outcome [Read more]