Benefits of Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release

Benefits of Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release

Endoscopic carpal tunnel release is a surgery that addresses carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that develops due to pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs through your wrist and into your hand through an opening in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, which can get narrower due to inflammation in the area from overuse. 

The condition is particularly common among people who work on a computer keyboard all day and others who perform repetitive hand movements. When conservative treatments haven’t relieved your discomfort from carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery may be an option for you.

To avoid permanent damage to the median nerve and control symptoms like numbness, tingling, and hand pain, orthopedic surgeon Anthony J. Berni, MD, performs endoscopic tunnel release surgery for patients in and around O’Fallon, Missouri. 

In this post, Dr. Berni shares the benefits of minimally invasive endoscopic surgery as treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.

A minimally invasive approach

During endoscopic tunnel release surgery, Dr. Berni snips the transverse carpal ligament to release pressure from the median nerve. He inserts a flexible tube and lighted camera called an endoscope through a tiny incision in the hand and uses a very small cutting tool. 

As with any minimally invasive surgery or treatment, endoscopic tunnel release uses a small incision rather than a large one. With the aid of the endoscope, Dr. Berni can see the structures in your wrist up close and precisely sever the compressing ligament with the small cutting tool. 

A smaller incision means a smaller scar, if one remains at all after your surgery. Plus, there’s less bleeding and less postoperative pain due to the small incision size of a minimally invasive surgery like endoscopic carpal tunnel release.  

A short recovery

Smaller incisions mean shorter time in recovery, too. In fact, many people who undergo endoscopic carpal tunnel release don’t even require physical therapy to use their hand to its full capacity again. If you do, Dr. Berni refers you to a trustworthy physical therapist in your area. 

After your endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery, you can return home the very same day. For some patients, the pain relief is immediate. For others, it gets progressively better over the course of a few months. 

You should expect to limit hand activity for around two weeks after the surgery. You might be able to return to work right away depending on your occupation and whether the carpal tunnel syndrome was in your dominant or nondominant hand. 

Preventing lasting nerve damage

When the symptoms of carpal tunnel make their first appearance, you can temporarily relieve them just by stretching or flexing your wrist or changing positions. However, this stage doesn’t last for long with this progressive condition. 

The damage to the median nerve can increase and become irreversible without treatment. Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery can prevent lasting effects of carpal tunnel syndrome, including permanent hand weakness or chronic hand pain.

One possible complication of untreated carpal tunnel syndrome, called reflex sympathetic dystrophy or complex regional pain syndrome, causes severe burning in the extremity as well as physiological changes to the bone, skin, and tissue of the affected hand. It’s a complication that can come from nerve damage, such as damage to the median nerve, or arise with no identifiable cause. 

Want to learn more?

Endoscopic carpal tunnel release has considerable benefits as a lasting treatment for carpal tunnel symptoms like hand tingling and pain. Book an appointment over the phone with Anthony J. Berni, MD, or request one online today to find out whether this minimally invasive procedure is right for you.

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