Carpal tunnel laser surgery

Carpal tunnel laser surgery appears to be used by a limited number of hand surgeons. It is sometimes referred to as thermal or hot laser surgery, or hot laser treatment.

In talking with hand surgeons who don't perform this type of surgery for fear of more complications, carpal tunnel laser surgery has not really become a mainstream surgical alternative. The main reasons they give are that they feel they're already doing a minimally invasive type procedure with the endoscope. They feel overall there are few surgical complications. There is minimal bleeding, the incisions only take a few sutures and they feel there's not much trauma to the tissues of the wrist.

In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

They also say that since the median nerve is so close to the transverse ligament See carpal tunnel anatomy that they are cutting or releasing, that they don't want to risk doing permanent damage to it with the laser.
Carpal tunnel thermal surgery may become the "next" endoscope type of surgery, in another 10 years or so. I remember when the endoscopic carpal tunnel release procedure came on the scene in the early to mid 90's, there was a learning curve.... Initially more complications occured back then, But as more hand surgeons became familiar with it and the technology improved, it became and has become widely accepted and is performed more now than the open carpal tunnel procedure But for now this type of laser surgery is just too new for me to recommend it to my patients.

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