The carpal tunnel is a “passageway” on the inner side of your wrist, which protects the median nerve in your hand and the tendons responsible for the movement of your fingers. This crucial part of your hand can be susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome – a painful condition in the wrist caused by a variety of factors, from fractures to excessive pressure in the wrist that is common with many athletes and physically active people.
While a change in your exercise routine may be sufficient to fully cure mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, the ideal solution for some severe cases is endoscopic carpal tunnel release. This surgical procedure involves only a small incision, through which a flexible tube with a camera and tiny cutting tools are inserted into your wrist. This helps your orthopedic surgeon perform the surgery in a minimally invasive manner, unlike the traditional method of open surgery where a larger incision is made.
In both cases, the purpose of the procedure is to cut into the carpal ligament in order to release the pressure as well as to relieve pain and restore proper function to your wrist. However, the additional benefits of endoscopic carpal tunnel release include:
- No lengthy hospital stay – you can return home immediately after surgery, unless your physician states otherwise.
- A shorter recovery period, as the procedure disturbs a substantially smaller area of your hand.
- A quick return to work – a mere 1-2 days if surgery was performed on your non-dominant hand. If your dominant hand was involved, full recovery could require up to 4 weeks.
- An extremely low risk of nerve damage – less than 1%!
- No risks commonly associated with general anesthesia, as endoscopic surgery is performed under local anesthesia.
Note: Although endoscopic carpal tunnel release is a great option, it is not suitable for everyone. Speak with your doctor about the appropriate solutions for your distinct situation.