What Is Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery?

What Is Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery?

Posted on 03/25/2021

Surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is done through either open surgery or using an endoscope, which is a thin tube that has a camera attached. The doctor makes a small incision on your wrist, or both wrist and palm then guides the endoscope through the opening. With the camera, the doctor can see and evaluate the structures in your wrist without cutting it open. As such, the endoscopic approach minimizes tearing and scaring.


When Is Endoscopic Surgery Taken Up?


Endoscopic surgery is the ideal choice in three situations:


  • If you are still experiencing symptoms even after taking nonsurgical treatment options for a long time.

  • If your symptoms are severe and are restricting your daily activities. Some of the symptoms include loss of coordination in the hands or fingers, no thumb strength, and persistent loss of feeling.

  • If you have a damaged median nerve or the risk of damaging it is high.


What Happens During the Surgery?


Through the small incision(s) on your hand, the doctor uses the endoscope to view inside the wrist and hand. He then divides the transverse carpal ligament, which is the carpal tunnel roof. Doing this enlarges the tunnel size, bringing down the pressure in the median nerve.


Although the carpal ligament grows back with time, the space in your carpal tunnel is now larger and cannot cause unwanted pressure on the median nerve.


After the Surgery


After the procedure, the surgeon asks you to keep your hand elevated above your heart. You are also asked to move your fingers often to prevent stiffness and bring down the swelling. You may feel pain, stiffness, and swelling after the surgery. You may also develop soreness, though minor, that lasts many weeks or months. But, in 2-3 months post-surgery, you regain the strength to pinch and grip. People whose condition was quite advanced may not regain the pinch and grip strength until 6-12 months post-surgery.


Although you may use your hand to do some light tasks, you would have to wear a wrist brace or splint for a few weeks. For example, you can lift light objects, drive, grip items, or engage in self-care activities. The doctor will tell you when you can return to work and about any work restrictions if needed. Avoid any heavy activities that would put undue pressure and discomfort on your hand. These delay recovery.


Expected Outcome


The advantage of endoscopic over open surgery is that you return to your everyday activities sooner. Although there is some pain and soreness during the healing, it should not last longer than two months. If the symptoms last longer than two months, see a hand therapist for specialized treatment.


Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery is straightforward and produces excellent results. Get your surgery done at East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity in Oakland, California, to relieve you of any uncomfortable symptoms.


Learn more about endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery, contact East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity in Oakland, CA at (510) 904-1100 to request an appointment.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.