Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery is a minimally invasive procedure for treating the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Endoscopic surgery uses small incisions and recovery is generally faster than from open surgery.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition of the wrist, hand and fingers. It is caused by the compression of the median nerve at the front of the wrist. Symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness and a loss of grip.
The carpal tunnel is between the transverse carpal ligament and the bones of the wrist. The median nerve, which controls the thumb and first three fingers, runs through the tunnel.
Repetitive movements over a long period or fluid retention can cause or exacerbate the condition. Pregnancy, diabetes or a genetic predisposition, may increase a person’s risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
How Does Endoscopic Surgery Work?
Surgeons use an endoscope, a thin tube containing a camera and light, during the procedure. The endoscope is inserted into a small incision at the wrist or on the palm. The camera allows the surgeon to see inside the patient’s wrist.
The surgeon performs the procedure using tiny cutting tools. These tools may be attached to the endoscope, or they may be inserted through a separate small incision.
The surgeon cuts the transverse carpal ligament, releasing pressure on the median nerve. The gap in the ligament eventually grows together with more space for the nerve.
The operation is usually an outpatient procedure done under a local anesthetic. Many people can return to work in a day or two.
What Are the Advantages Endoscopic Surgery?
Open surgery requires 4-inch incisions. Incisions for endoscopic surgery are about – inch. Less invasive techniques mean patients generally recover faster and have fewer complications. Other advantages include:
– Less pain during recovery and beyond.
– Quicker return to daily activities.
– Less time away from work.
– Smaller, less noticeable scars.
– Reduced need for rehabilitation and physical therapy.
– Faster recovery time is an important advantage for those who depend on crutches, a wheelchair or need surgery on both hands.
Are There Nonsurgical Alternatives?
Some people find relief through rest, acupuncture or physical therapy. If symptoms are caused by repetitive motions at work, a splint and more frequent breaks may help. Medications may provide temporary relief from pain and swelling.
Why Hire a Brain Surgeon for a Wrist Operation?
Endoscopic carpal tunnel release is most successful when performed by a surgeon with experience in these specialized techniques. The wrist contains vital nerves, located close to the carpal ligament. Proper division of the ligament reduces the chance of complications and a second surgery.
Dr. Keuther has more than 14 years of experience performing minimally invasive procedures. He has successfully used endoscopic techniques in carpal tunnel release, brain and spine operations.
Contact him in Portland, Oregon at (503) 489-8111.