Repetitive motions are the most common culprit for carpal tunnel, and certain professions can increase a person’s risk of developing the condition. For example, people who work on computers and factory assembly line workers are more predisposed to carpal tunnel. Women often tend to experience discomfort more than men. People with arthritis, diabetic-related nerve damage, and even obesity are also at a heightened risk for developing carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel release
For more minor cases, at-home solutions such as using a wrist brace, icing the injured area, and rest are more than sufficient to provide relief. However, in more serious cases, carpal tunnel release surgery may be necessary to open the channel and prevent median nerve compression. Historically, the surgery was performed by creating a larger incision, known as an open release. As technology has advanced, minimally invasive keyhole surgery has become a popular alternative to traditional methods, offering many benefits to patients.
1. Faster recovery times
Open carpal tunnel release surgeries require several weeks of recovery before removing a splint. Additionally, full recovery may often require several months. By contrast, keyhole surgery allows for faster recovery since smaller, more precise incisions are made. The shorter timeline often means people can return to normal activities and work faster.
2. Less pain and scarring
By default, surgery comes with some degree of discomfort and pain as a patient heals. However, keyhole or endoscopic release surgery tends to translate to fewer scars and reduced pain. Whereas an open surgery requires a larger incision made in the hand or wrist, an endoscopic version will usually feature smaller cuts, significantly reducing scarring.
3. Less risk of additional damage
While complications are always a risk with any surgery, endoscopic carpal tunnel release tends to produce less additional damage to surrounding tissues and nerves. Individuals concerned about surgery worsening wrist and hand pain should consider a keyhole surgery over an open release.
Carpal tunnel isn’t a condition to be ignored. While many individuals can successfully treat the discomfort with conservative, non-invasive treatments, more severe cases may require surgery for proper correction. The benefits of choosing a keyhole surgery over a traditional open release should be discussed with an orthopedic surgeon so patients can make an informed decision.