Once hand surgery becomes a consideration for carpal tunnel symptoms, there are two options: traditional (open) surgery or endoscopic surgery. While either choice can be very effective for carpal tunnel treatment, there are some definite benefits to choosing the latter approach.
It’s worth noting that regardless of the approach taken, the end result of carpal tunnel surgery is the same: release of the carpal ligament. Only the method of achieving that goal is different. During surgery, releasing the transverse carpal ligament relieves compression of the median nerve, and the resultant symptoms of paresthesia that define carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel release carries an extremely low recurrence rate, making this treatment choice an excellent one for severe symptoms that haven’t responded to more conservative methods.
Performing carpal tunnel release endoscopically rather than traditionally carries two primary advantages:
- Endoscopic incisions are much smaller than those used in traditional surgery by as much as one-tenth (1 cm compared to up to 100 mm).
- Division of the Palmar aponeurosis is unnecessary when endoscopic release is performed. Similarly, the palmar fascia and subcutaneous tissues are not disturbed to the same degree during endoscopic surgery compared to a traditional approach.
In short, endoscopic surgery necessitates less interruption and dissection of tissue plane compared to open methods. This means a more comfortable surgery, and a far faster recovery along with reduced risk of infection. The surgery also takes less time to perform. , The benefits to the patient in taking this approach should be clear.
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