Tunnelplasty vs Traditional Procedures

For most patients, surgery is the only option that will provide permanent relief of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Surgery is generally recommended if symptoms last for 6 months. Traditionaly, surgery involves severing the band of tissue around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve.

The two traditional surgical procedures that are most currently used today are called "Carpal Tunnel Release" and "Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release". These techniques have several things in common.

  1. Palm or Wrist incision(s)
  2. Cutting of the transverse carpal ligament

Most surgeons historically have performed the open procedure. This procedure consists of making an incision up to 2 inches in the wrist and then cutting the carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel.


Open Carpal Tunnel Release

However, since the 1990s, the endoscopic carpal tunnel release has gained in popularity among surgeons. The endoscopic carpal tunnel release has a faster functional recovery and less postoperative discomfort than open release surgery. The surgeon makes two incisions (about ½" each) in the wrist and palm, inserts a camera attached to a tube, observes the tissue on a screen, and cuts the carpal ligament (the tissue that holds joints together). This two-portal endoscopic surgery, is effective at minimizing scarring and scar tenderness, but fails to preserve the transverse carpal ligament. Although symptoms may be relieved immediately after surgery, full recovery from this type of carpal tunnel surgery can take months. Occasionally the wrist loses strength because the carpal ligament has been cut and patients must undergo physical therapy after surgery to restore wrist strength.

Reference: National Institute of Health

Balloon Carpal Tunnelplasty

Below Balloon Carpal Tunnelpasty is a minimally invasive technique that is performed under local anesthetic with optional sedation. It avoids incisions in the palm of the hand and fully preserves the transverse carpal ligament. The elevation of the transverse carpal ligament can be confirmed by endoscopic visualization. Because of its minimally invasive nature, it is possible for a patient to return to their normal daily activities in a very short period of time. Balloon Carpal Tunnelplasty is setting the new standard for minimally invasive surgical solutions to carpal tunnel syndrome. It is the ONLY surgical carpal tunnel procedure that preserves the transverse carpal ligament; therefore it is the only surgical solution without the long term side effects associated with the loss of biomechanics caused by cutting this ligament.



Request an Appointment

  • Lee Berger md
  • About Carpal Tunnel
  • Balloon carpal Tunnelpasty
  • carpal tunnel surgeon