Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be corrected surgically by simply releasing the transverse carpal ligament to decompress the pinched nerve. This carpal tunnel treatment can usually be performed endoscopically by an experienced hand and wrist doctor.

This standard surgical technique for median nerve decompression—that is, carpal tunnel release—has been a very successful operation in restoring patients to their favorite activities by reducing their wrist pain and weakness.

One of the major drawbacks to standard, open carpal tunnel release is the extended length of recovery in the palm side surgical scar. Often, the two-inch palm scar remains sensitive to direct pressure for roughly six to eight weeks. In the working patient, this scar sensitivity could preclude return to normal work activities.

However, orthopedic technology has advanced to the point where a standard arthroscope has been specially modified to be of use in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. To employ the endoscopic technique in carpal tunnel release, a small half-inch horizontal incision is made at the wrist, and the arthroscope is introduced underneath the transverse carpal ligament. A cannula is inserted into the hand, just under the offending ligament. The surgeon is able to look through a scope and use a small knife to simply cut the ligament, thus freeing the nerve. 

In effect, by cutting through the transverse carpal ligament, the compression on the median nerve is relieved and the nerve begins to heal, alleviating the carpal tunnel symptoms of tingling, pain, weakness, and numbness in the wrist, hand, and fingers.

The minimally invasive endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery is performed by a carpal tunnel surgeon on an outpatient basis, utilizing a local anesthetic to numb the wrist so patients can have a fast and easy experience. After the three-minute procedure, a band-aid is applied to the wrist, and the patient is discharged and allowed to go home the same day. The patient is able to use their hand normally immediately, avoiding exertive activities for three to four weeks.

VIDEO: Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release by David M. Auerbach, MD.

Southern California Orthopedic Institute Offers Personalized Hand & Wrist Expertise

If you're ready to discuss your carpal tunnel problem with our endoscopic carpal tunnel release expert, Dr. David Auerbach, visit us at our Van Nuys or Westlake locations. You can request an appointment online or call us at (818) 901-6600.

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