Tunnelplasty vs Traditional Procedures
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.
- Palm or Wrist incision(s)
- 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