Objective: To assess the patient profile and outcome of treatment, by endoscopic release, of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Methods: A descriptive study was done using data from two sets of patients who had endoscopic carpal tunnel release in Jamaica from 2004 to 2006 and 2006 to 2010. The medical records of patients who had a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome using symptoms, clinical signs and confirmation by nerve conduction test were reviewed. The data were analysed using SPSS and Micosoft Excel®.
Results: A total of 68 patients with 75 cases of carpal tunnel syndrome were done. Fifty-two (76%) of these patients were females and about 50% were older than 41 years old. There were 61 (90%) unilateral cases. Of these, the majority of cases affected the right hand. All patients had improvement in symptoms after one week, required minimal analgesic use, had good compliance with rehabilitation and returned to work after about two weeks. There were three cases of pilar tenderness, two cases of transient paraesthesia in the index finger which resolved after three weeks. There were three failed cases from the first series which had to be converted to open carpal tunnel release. The complication rate was 6.7%. No serious complications occurred in the second series and all were treated successfully without interventional surgery. The rate of conversion to open release was 4%.
Conclusion: Carpal tunnel affects mostly middle aged females and when treatment is done by endoscopic release, there is a fast resolution of symptoms and early return to work.