An endoscopic carpal tunnel release is performed only after conservative treatment has been unsuccessful. Its goal is to release the carpal ligament at the wrist and relieve the pressure it is placing on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel.

Endoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done using either a general or regional anesthetic. The site is cleaned and an incision is made at the base of the palm and possibly at the wrist as well for placement of the small endoscopic tool. The transverse carpal ligament, which forms a band across the wrist under which the median nerve travels, is cut slightly from the inside in order to relieve pressure on the nerve.

Every precaution is taken to prevent risk of infection. And patients begin physical and/or occupational therapy following a brief recovery period. Cold compression, soft-tissue massage and hands-on stretching may also be used to facilitate range of motion exercises. Exercises to strengthen hand muscles follow shortly thereafter.