Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release – An Overview of the Process and its Benefits
Endoscopic carpal tunnel release is a minimally invasive surgical technique that uses a thin, specialized device with a camera attachment guided through a small incision in the wrist. The camera, or endoscope, allows the surgeon to see and have direct access to the internal structures of the wrist without the need for a larger incision. During the procedure, the transverse carpal tunnel is cut to create more room for the median nerve that pass through the tunnel, reducing pain and improving function.
Why is an Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release Done?
An endoscopic carpal tunnel release is performed to relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is likely a doctor will try resolving your symptoms through non-surgical treatments first but there are a few reasons an endoscopic carpal tunnel release would be recommended which may include:
- Patients still experience pain and other symptoms after a period of non-surgical treatment. Generally, surgery is not recommended until several weeks or even months after standard treatments are administered.
- Severe symptoms such as weakness or a loss of feeling in the hands and fingers, are restricting your normal routine.
- Nerve test results reveal that there is damage, or a risk of severe damage, to your median nerve.
What to Expect from an Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release
While an endoscopic carpal tunnel release is a minimally invasive procedure, there are still some risks involved. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns and to learn more about how it works, in order to be better prepared. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect from the entire process:
- Before the Procedure: Before the surgery, the doctor will go over the procedure and offer you a chance to ask questions. You may be required to undergo some diagnostic testing depending on your condition. Tell your doctor about any medications you’re currently taking and avoid eating and drinking 6-12 hours prior to the procedure.
- During the Procedure: Typically, this is an outpatient procedure and patients are usually able to go home the same day. You will receive local anesthesia before your doctor makes one or two small incisions near your wrist. A small camera will display your wrist structure on a monitor and the transverse carpal tunnel will be cut from underneath. Stitches or staples will then be used to close up the skin at the site of the incision.
- After the Procedure: Your wrist may be bandaged or in a splint for 1-2 weeks after the surgery is performed. An appointment will be made to remove these materials and you will be encouraged to start moving your fingers. You may feel some slight discomfort in your hand and wrist, but this is normal and usually managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Additionally, once the bandages or splint are removed, you will likely begin a physical therapy program to speed up your recovery and strengthen the area. The recovery period may take anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on your condition.
What are the Benefits of an Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release Procedure?
Over time, carpal tunnel syndrome can reduce the function of your hands and wrists, becoming worse if the condition is left untreated. Fortunately, an endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery can provide long-term relief in addition to some of the following advantages:
- Effective treatment for relieving nerve pain, tingling and numbness, in addition to restoring muscle strength.
- Patients can expect shorter recovery times due to smaller incisions.
- A shorter healing period makes this procedure ideal for individuals having surgery performed on both wrists, or those who depend on a walker, crutches, or a wheelchair.
- Experience less pain post-procedure compared to open surgery.
If you are considering a minimally invasive option to open surgery, consult a doctor who has extensive experience. At Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic, we have 20 years of experience treating carpal tunnel syndrome through endoscopic carpal tunnel release. Dr. Adam Lewis has performed thousands of carpal tunnel surgeries since 1990 and been an instructor for endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery since 1996. As a pioneer and the first in Mississippi to perform bi-portal endoscopic carpal tunnel releases, you know you are in good hands with Dr. Lewis.
Contact us today to learn more about endoscopic carpal tunnel release or to schedule a consultation. We’ll find a solution that works for you! Call us at: (601) 366-1011.