Figure 12—12. A soft tissue, bulky dressing placed after successful division of the transverse carpal ligament.


Complications that may occur include stiffness, nerve injury, vascular injury, infections, and incomplete release. Although complications are rare, inaccurate diagnosis may predispose the patient to complications. Patients with recurrent carpal tunnel syndrome or with distorted anatomy due to fractures or dislocations should never undergo limited open incision carpal tunnel release. Open carpal tunnel release should also be performed in patients who have neurologic deficits in the thenar muscle area and near complete loss of sensory perception.

Suggested Readings

Agee JM, McCarroll HR Jr, Tortosa RD, Berry DA, Szabo RM, Peimer CA. Endoscopic release of the carpal tunnel: a randomized prospective multicenter study. J Hand Surg 1992;17A:987-995.

Braun RM, Rechnic M, Fowler E. Complications related to carpal tunnel release. Hand Clin 2002;18:347-357.

Brown RA, Gelberman RH, Seiler JG III, et al. Carpal tunnel release: a prospective, randomized assessment of open and endoscopic methods. J Bone Joint Surg 1993; 75A:1265-1275.

Lee WP, Plancher KD, Strickland JW. Carpal tunnel release with a small palmar incision. Hand Clin 1996;12:271-284.

Plancher KD, Idler RS, Lourie GM, Strickland JW. Recalcitrant carpal tunnel. The hypothenar fat pad flap. Hand Clin 1996;12:337-349.

Plancher KD, Parekh SR. Limited open incision carpal tunnel release. Tech Hand Upper Extrem Surg 1998;2:64-71.

Vasen AP, Kuntx KM, Simmons BP, Katz JN. Open versus endoscopic carpal tunnel release: A decision analysis. J Hand Surg 1999;24A:1109-1117.

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