What is Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release?
Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release (CTR) is a surgical procedure to relieve the pain, numbness or tingling in the hand by using a small incision in either the wrist or wrist and palm. This procedure eliminates the need for a large incision since an endoscope allows the doctor to see the transverse carpal ligament and other structures in the wrist.
This surgery is done only after non-surgical options have been explored and have not eliminated the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. If persistent and severe symptoms are present, endoscopic CTR is considered as a viable course of treatment.
Endoscopic surgery utilizes very small cutting tools which make a small incision in the wrist (single port) or wrist and palm (two-port) to insert a thin and flexible tube with a camera attached. The camera guides the doctor during the procedure of cutting the transverse carpal ligament. As a result, the pressure on the median nerve relieves the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
The small incision on the wrist and/or palm is closed with stitches. Where the ligament was cut, scar tissue will fill in the gap resulting from the surgery eventually.
After Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release (CTR) surgery, your recovery is shorter than if you had an open surgery since the incision area is smaller. The recovery time will depend on if the surgery was performed on your dominate or non-dominate hand. Immediately after surgery, your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms may disappear or it may take several weeks.
If the endoscopic CTR was performed on your dominate hand, your recovery time could take up to 4 weeks. The length of time will depend on the type of work you perform and if your job requires repetitive tasks.
If the surgery was done on your non-dominate hand, you may be able to return to work within a day or two. Heavy use of your hand should be avoided for at least two weeks.
Physical therapy should be used to regain full use of your hand and to speed healing.