Thursday, April 16, 2015

Open versus Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery

As a board-certified, practicing orthopaedic surgeon in Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Andrew Collier helps patients enjoy a better quality of life. Since 1985, Dr. Andrew Collier has worked at Philadelphia Orthopaedic Associates. As an organization, the practice focuses on less-invasive techniques such as endoscopic surgery for treating carpal tunnel syndrome and other debilitating conditions.

There are various treatments designed to help patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, ranging from nonsurgical to surgical. A nonsurgical approach is, of course, preferred. Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery is frequently used when nonsurgical approaches have failed. Other times, it is performed if a doctor is concerned about nerve damage or if the pain associated with the condition is particularly severe. 

In endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery, a surgeon maneuvers a small tube with a camera attached to the end of it into the affected area through a small incision. This allows the surgeon to see the area without surgically opening it up entirely, as is the case in open carpal tunnel surgery. Then the surgeon makes cuts to release pressure on the median nerve, thereby decreasing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Since the endoscopic procedure is less invasive than open surgery, it is considered to have fewer risks and has a faster healing time. It is often recommended for patients who need to have surgery on both wrists or who depend on the use of their wrists for getting around in a wheelchair or on crutches.