What are the differences between endoscopic and open carpal tunnel release?
Endoscopic carpal tunnel release is a minimally invasive method of performing carpal tunnel release surgery. Through a small incision made over the base of the palm, a device which carries a small camera and a retractable blade is inserted under the transverse carpal ligament. The transverse carpal ligament is then divided using the retractable blade under the vision of the endoscopic camera.
On the other hand, open carpal tunnel release is performed via a longer incision directly above the transverse carpal ligament. In the open method, the surgeon is able to perform more procedures in cases of complicated or end-stage carpal tunnel syndromes - such as median nerve neurolysis, raising and transposing a hypothenar fat pad flap to cover and protect the median nerve, tendon transfers to reconstruct the function of the abductor pollicis longus muscle. These procedures are not possible with the endoscopic method.