Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome results from increased pressure on the median nerve around the wrist, leading to numbness, tingling, shock-like sensations, burning sensations, and loss of grip, among other symptoms.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common problems affecting the hand.1

Surgical
Treatment Options

Understanding the difference in surgical options and recovery times.

carpaltunnel endoscopic  procedure image

Endoscopic

The Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release (ECTR) procedure is minimally invasive and highly effective, with more than 30 years of proven use. The results are less post-operative pain3 and less evident scarring than even the mini-open procedure.

SmartRelease® is a leading endoscopic carpal tunnel release procedure that provides surgeons with a high-definition view of the transverse carpal tunnel ligament. SmartRelease is minimally invasive, can be performed in minutes, and generally allows patients to resume work and play activities quicker1 than alternative procedures.

• Small 1–2 cm incision
• Little to virtually no scarring
• Less post-op pain
• Shorter recovery time
• Advanced visualization

carpaltunnel standard open procedure image

Standard Open

The open procedure is effective but may not be the best option for some patients because of the length and location of the resulting scar, postoperative pain, and recovery time. The palm of your hand has many nerve endings and several layers of skin that a surgeon must cut through to reach the transverse carpal ligament and perform the release. Therefore, recovery can take several weeks due to post-operative pain, the deeper cutting of the palm, and a longer incision.

• Large 4-6 cm incision
• Large post-op scar
• Longer recovery time

carpaltunnel mini open procedure image

Mini-Open

The mini-open is a variation of the standard open procedure that requires a smaller incision made at the base of the palm. Although less invasive than the standard open procedure, a surgeon's view of the transverse carpal ligament may not be as clear with a mini-open. The procedure is considered safe and effective but may result in visible scarring and post-operative pain.

• Small 2.5 cm incision
• Small post-op scar
• Longer recovery time

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Standard Open

The open procedure is effective but may not be the best option for some patients because of the length and location of the resulting scar, post-operative pain, and recovery time. The palm of your hand has many nerve endings and several layers of skin that a surgeon must cut through to reach the transverse carpal ligament and perform the release. Therefore, recovery can take several weeks due to post-operative pain, the deeper cutting of the palm, and a longer incision.

• Large 4-6 cm incision
• Large post-op scar
• Longer recovery time

Mini Open

The mini-open is a variation of the standard open procedure that requires a smaller incision made at the base of the palm. Although less invasive than the standard open procedure, a surgeon's view of the transverse carpal ligament may not be as clear with a mini-open. The procedure is considered safe and effective but may result in visible scarring and post-operative pain.

• Small 2.5 cm incision
• Small post-op scar
• Longer recovery time

Endoscopic

The Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release (ECTR) procedure is minimally invasive and highly effective, with more than 30 years of proven use3. The results are less post-operative pain and less evident scarring than even the mini-open procedure.

SmartRelease® is a leading endoscopic carpal tunnel release procedure that provides surgeons with a high-definition view of the transverse carpal tunnel ligament. SmartRelease is minimally invasive, can be performed in minutes, and generally allows patients to resume work and play activities quicker1 than alternative procedures.

• Small 1–2 cm incision
• Little to virtually no scarring
• Less post-op pain
• Shorter recovery time
• Advanced visualization

Understanding your symptoms, the causes, and available treatment options.

Symptoms & Treatments

Symptoms caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually appear in the thumb, index, and middle fingers and may travel up to your shoulder. Always see your health care provider for a diagnosis.

Swelling in the carpal tunnel puts pressure on the median nerve, which supplies most of the feeling and movement to the fingers and thumb. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may occur when this pressure becomes significant enough to compress the median nerve. Other medical conditions, such as repetitive hand motions or fluid retention, can be compounded by symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and can worsen overnight. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following:

01

Tingling

02

Shock-like Sensations

03

Burning Sensation

04

Weakened Grip

05

Wrist Pain

Nonsurgical treatments may include:

  • Reducing repetitive hand motion (e.g., computer keyboard/mouse use)
  • Wearing wrist splints at night
  • Receiving anti-inflammatory medication taken orally or injected into the carpal tunnel

The two most common surgical treatments are open surgery and endoscopic surgery.

Both procedures aim to ease pressure on the median nerve by surgically incising the transverse ligament, thereby enlarging the carpal tunnel to make more room for the nerve. Both procedures are effective, but endoscopic surgery results in faster recovery time, less post-operative pain, and a smaller, less-noticeable scar.2

Explore your symptoms

7 simple questions to see if you may be experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.