Once the decision has been made to have carpal tunnel surgery, there are generally two methods the surgey can be performed. There is the standard open approach or endoscopic. The open technique is used most often by surgeons and involves making an incision at the base of the palm about an inch long. The ligament over the nerve is found and cut to relieve pressure on the nerve. Doing the procedure endoscopically means making one or two much smaller incisions around the palm and using a camera to see the ligament and cut it. Both procedures work well to alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms. Patients will often ask whats the difference and I tell them the following.
1. Both procedures work equally well
2. The endoscopic procedure will allow a return to work a bit more quickly assuming your hands are important for your work
3. The open procedure allows more exploration and an ability to evaluate the the other structures in the hand
4. Each procedure has it’s own risks and benefits
At the Brooklyn Orthopedic Institute we make the decision together based on individual needs and preferences.