The mini-incision technique for carpal tunnel release using nasal instruments in Chinese patients

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Abstract

Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) remains a challenge for hand surgeons. Carpal tunnel release (CTR) using nasal instruments has the advantages of both endoscopy and open surgery. In this study we aimed to explore the effectiveness of CTR using nasal instruments in Chinese patients.

We present a case series of 49 cases of idiopathic CTS treated with the mini-incision technique using nasal instruments. The average recovery days before return to normal work and complications were recorded. The mean grip strength, pinch strength, and sensation were evaluated. Subjective results were evaluated using the visual analogue scale (VAS), Levine Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire (LCTSQ), Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH), and Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36).

The mean follow-up was 13 months. No return of symptoms or blood vessel injury occurred. The incidence of scar tenderness was only 8.1%, later pillar pain (after 4 weeks) was 18.4%, and average recovery time to return to normal work was 23.7 days. The mean grip strength, pinch strength, and sensation were significantly improved (P < .001). The VAS, LCTSQ, and DASH survey postoperative mean scores were lower than the preoperative scores (P < .001). SF-36 scores were significantly increased following surgery (P < .001).

We conclude that the mini-incision technique for CTR using nasal instruments in Chinese patients is safe, effective, and low cost. It is worthwhile for the technique to be promoted and used.

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