At The Hand Center of Western Massachusetts we have beenperforming endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery since 1992.
While not all patients are candidates for use of this techniquethere are many who can benefit from it.
You may watch a video of endoscopic carpal tunnel release here(or scroll down to the link at the bottom of this page)
What is endoscopic carpal tunnel release? How is it performed? What are the potential benefits?
Endoscopic carpal tunnel release uses an endoscope, aninstrument attached to a video monitor to visualize theundersurface of the transverse carpal ligament. This avoids theneed to make an incision in the palm. Instead the surgeon makes theincision in the wrist crease near the base of the palm.
The surgeon esssentially releases the ligament from the insideout, avoiding damaging the tough tissues called fascia in the palmthat give the palm its shape and contour. In doing this, the palmskin incision is avoided. For many this reduces the immediateproblem of using the hand more fully in the early post operativeperiod. It does not mean that there will be absolutely nodiscomfort but many feel there is less incisional pain especiallyin the weeks following surgery and those who have endoscopicrelease who do well, seem to do well sooner. Typically however onemust realize that there are many people who undergo so calledregular open carpal tunnel release who have very little pain and dowell. For both methods many do not need to take pain medicine atall. Of course everyone is different and no one should guarantee"painless" surgery
The greatest potential benefitwould seem to be for thosepatients who need to get back to a job or activity that requires alot of palm contact. Somethinig that we refer to as a"palm-intensive" activity. However no matter who you are or whatyou do you need your hands and using the palms cant be avoided.Thus even if you are not someone who does this kind of work oractivity you may be a candidate for endoscopic carpal tunnelrelease.
While 5-6 weeks down the line most patients with either an openor endoscopic release are at nearly the same place with respect toactivities, the endoscopically released hands seem to be morecomfortable sooner. In addition several studies have documented anearlier return to work and activities
Must my carpal tunnel be released endoscopically?
No. It is important to understand that this is one method thatfor some people can be beneficial. Standard carpal tunnel releaseis a tried and true method and typically has very good results.
IS Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel... LASER SURGERY?
No. The term laser surgery is a misnomer. In other words, somepeople call endoscopic or arthroscopic surgery laser surgery forsome reason but there is no laser involved. While lasers are usedby surgeons for a variety of conditions there is no role for laserhere. Despite this, that question gets asked often by a lot ofpeople who have heard about someone getting laser surgery for theircarpal tunnel.
What should I do if I want to have this method used?
There are several different ways of doing an endoscopic carpaltunnel release in terms of instruments and the type pf endoscopeused. You should make sure your surgeon has experience in theirchosen method and instrumentation.
Where is the surgery done?
Like regular open carpal tunnel release endoscopic carpal tunnelrelease is done typically in an outpatient surgery center setting.The Hand Center of Western Massachusetts is located directly abovethe Pioneer Valley Surgical Center and the surgeons there do mostof the endoscopic carpal tunnel releases there.
For more information, it is vital to speak to a physician whocan discuss with you with regard to whether you might be acandidate for this procedure and what the risks and benefits are.This page is for introduction of this topic and should not be usedas a sole source of information.
For additional information and references: PLEASE NOTE THAT SOMEOF THE INFORMATION ON THESE LINKS MAY HAVE A COMMERCIAL BIAS
WATCH A video OFENDOSCOPIC CARPAL TUNNEL RELEASE (also seen above)
All content on this page is written or adapted/modified from other sources by Jeffrey Wint with every effor made to give credit to appropriate sources. If there are any issues please contact him directly.