1809 Brenner Avenue, Suite 102, Salisbury, North Carolina 28144
The typical carpal tunnel release patient has tingling or pain in their thumb, index finger, middle finger, and/or half of their ring finger. Diabetics, rheumatoid patients, lupus patients, and people with inflammatory problems have a greater risk for developing carpal tunnel, but the condition also is prevalent in the general population.
Carpal tunnel may be a result of either tightness in the fascia (the tissue surrounding the nerve in the forearm) or entrapment of a nerve in the wrist.
The endoscopic carpal tunnel release treats both of the areas that can cause carpal tunnel (the forearm and the nerve in the wrist), while open procedure only addresses the wrist.
There are many other advantages to performing a carpal tunnel release endoscopically as opposed to openly. An endoscopic carpal tunnel release is performed through a scope, so a smaller incision (1-1½ cm) is made for the procedure than when it is performed openly. The incision for an endoscopic procedure is made in the distal wrist, directly above the nerve. In an open procedure the incision is made in the palm, making it necessary for the surgeon to pass through additional areas such as the palmar fascia, muscle, and transverse carpal ligament.
An endoscopic procedure does less to the function of the hand and, statistically, results in a better range of motion and strength than an open procedure. Also, the endoscopic has a faster recovery period- patients can use their hands as soon as the numbing medicine wears off- and no bracing or splinting is required after the procedure.
If the patient previously had an open carpal tunnel release, they may have scarring that prevents additional open carpal tunnel releases. However, an endoscopic release is still an option because it does not go through the scarred area.