An Evidence-Based Review of a Single Surgeon’s Experience With Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release


Although introduced more than 20 years ago, endoscopic carpal tunnel release (ECTR) continues to generate debate and controversy among surgeons. This review examines a single surgeon’s technique for ECTR over the past 13 years to better understand the effects of a surgeon’s experience on outcomes. A retrospective review was performed on a case series of 129 patients ages 25 to 89 years old who underwent an ECTR at Duke University. Ninety-six percent of patients reported improvement in nerve symptoms. There were no nerve complications in the series. The billed cost of ECTR at Duke University was 9% less than standard open release and the average return to work by report by patients was 3 weeks. Previous recommendations against ECTR have focused on increased complication rates and cost, with no reported differences in long-term clinical outcomes. The results demonstrate increased success and lower complication rates for this series of patients. This may indicate a significant correlation between a surgeon’s expertise and outcomes for ECTR. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances21(3):117–121, 2012)

SKU: JSOA-2012-21-3-F1 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Vani J. Sabesan, MD; Dawn Pedrotty, PhD; James R. Urbaniak, MD;
and J. Mack Aldridge III, MD