Endoscopic vs. Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Two different surgical methods for treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome exist: traditional Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery and less invasive Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery. As one of the Bloomfield Hills area’s top Carpal Tunnel Surgeons, Dr. Rehman has helped hundreds of patients get relief with Carpal Tunnel Surgery.

In this article we discuss the differences between Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery and less invasive Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery.

Open Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

Traditional Carpal Tunnel Surgery – also called Open Release surgery – requires an incision about two inches long at the wrist. The surgeon then cuts the carpal tunnel ligament to make more room in the carpal tunnel and relieve the pressure on the median nerve.

This surgery can usually be done on an outpatient basis, using local anesthetic, unless there are other complicating medical conditions.

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery

A newer surgical technique – called Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery –is less invasive.  This method requires only one or two incisions, about ½ inch each, in the wrist and the palm.

A camera attached to a tube is inserted so the surgeon can see the tissue, and using small instruments the surgeon cuts the carpal ligament to release the pressure on the nerve. This surgery is also usually performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis.

Open vs. Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

Because less damage is done to the surrounding tissue, recovery time is usually shorter for Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery (ECTR) than it is for the traditional Open Release procedure.

The incision in open carpal tunnel surgery is about 4 times the width of endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery. For this reason the healing and recovery period for open surgery takes longer than for endoscopic surgery.

ECTR is also typically expected to have a better outcome in terms of pain, as well as a faster return to normal activities – because it is minimally invasive and leaves structures overlying the carpal tunnel ligament intact.

Additionally, painful scar tissue may be more likely to develop after open surgery than after endoscopic surgery. However, temporary nerve problems may be somewhat less likely with traditional Open Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery.

Carpal Tunnel Surgeon Bloomfield Hills

If you think you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. She will help you decide whether Open Release Carpal Tunnel Surgery or Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery is right for your unique situation.

As with most medical conditions, early detection, awareness, and a prevention or treatment plan is the most effective way to combat the effects of conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Bloomfield Hills Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Doctor: 248.335.2638