ENDOSCOPIC CARPAL TUNNEL RELEASE
If you need an endoscopic carpal tunnel release, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What Is A Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release?
Endoscopic carpal tunnel release (ECTR) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a condition caused by the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This compression leads to symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers.
In endoscopic carpal tunnel release, a small, flexible tube with a camera and light at the end, known as an endoscope, is inserted through a tiny incision in the wrist. The endoscope allows the surgeon to visualize the structures inside the carpal tunnel without the need for a large incision.
The ECTR procedure involves the following steps:
- Anesthesia: The patient is usually given local anesthesia to numb the wrist and hand. In some cases, the surgeon may use regional or general anesthesia.
- Incision: A small incision, approximately 1 cm in length, is made in the wrist crease. This incision is used to insert the endoscope.
- Visualization: The endoscope is carefully inserted through the incision, allowing the surgeon to view the structures inside the carpal tunnel, including the transverse carpal ligament.
- Release: The surgeon uses specialized instruments, also inserted through small incisions, to cut and release the transverse carpal ligament. This releases the pressure on the median nerve, alleviating the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Closure: After the transverse carpal ligament is released, the incisions are closed with sutures or surgical tape, and a bandage is applied.
Advantages of Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release:
- Smaller Incision: The endoscopic approach requires only a small incision, which results in less scarring and reduced risk of complications compared to traditional open surgery.
- Faster Recovery: The minimally invasive nature of ECTR generally leads to faster recovery and quicker return to normal activities.
- Less Postoperative Pain: Patients often experience less postoperative pain and discomfort compared to open carpal tunnel release.
- Improved Visualization: The endoscope provides a clear and magnified view of the carpal tunnel structures, allowing for precise and targeted release of the transverse carpal ligament.
Recovery and Rehabilitation: After ECTR, patients may need to wear a wrist splint or brace for a short period to protect the surgical site and promote healing. Physical therapy exercises are usually prescribed to help regain wrist strength and flexibility.
Recovery times can vary depending on individual factors, but most patients can resume light activities within a few days to weeks and return to more strenuous activities over several weeks to months.
While ECTR is generally safe, it carries some potential risks and complications, including infection, nerve or blood vessel injury, and incomplete relief of symptoms. Patients should carefully follow their surgeon’s post-operative instructions and attend follow-up appointments for a smooth recovery and optimal outcome.