Endoscopic release of carpal tunnel syndrome is still under debate. The main advantages of the technique are considered to be minor postoperative pain and a more rapid postoperative recovery. Disadvantages are thought to be the impossibility of a direct median nerve neurolysis and a higher surgical complication rate, including injury to the median nerve.METHODS:
The results of 411 consecutive endoscopic carpal tunnel procedures performed between March 1995 and September 2004 are presented. All patients were prospectively followed.RESULTS:
In the present series, a success rate of 98.05% was observed. There was no permanent morbidity and, in particular, there was no injury of the median nerve. In four (0.97%) patients, the preoperative symptoms did not improve. In two (0.49%) of these patients, an incomplete release of the carpal ligament occurred. In another four patients (0.97%), a switch to open surgery was required.CONCLUSION:
The present data prove that the endoscopic technique is a safe and reliable technique for carpal tunnel surgery. The data do not support the current discussion of a higher risk of median nerve injury with endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery. Thus, for our group, the endoscopic technique represents the therapy of choice for the primary idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome.