New Alternatives to Carpal Tunnel Surgery

A new procedure called the Manos System, or “Manos carpal tunnel release system,” is being performed to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrom (CTS – that’s right, our blog is the place to be for carpal tunnel news).  It’s promising faster recovery time and a higher rate of success than other surgical methods for fixing CTS.  Instead of entering through the wrist, the Manos System calls for a 3/4 inch incision at the bottom of the palm, where a catheter is inserted to trim the thickened tendon.  Dr. Richard Idler of the Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group is one of the few doctors routinely performing the surgery right now:

“This is probably the least invasive devices I’ve seen utilized for Carpal Tunnel surgery.  It’s literally a probe that enters through a very tiny, less than a quarter of an inch incision at the wrist that is then passed to Carpal Tunnel.”

The Manos carpal tunnel release system is a new method for operating on severe carpal tunnel injuries.

By early 2011, the procedure had only been performed 150 times, but was being hailed by its developer as a breakthrough.  Dr. Bruce McCormack is a neurosurgeon in San Francisco, and he saw the ease with which such a surgery could be performed relative to his own experience much more delicate brain surgeries where the location of certain nerves is more masked and much more important (not as easily repaired in the event of an error during surgery).  Initial procedures showed no complications from the surgery and no new injuries from the procedure itself.

The procedure is straight-forward; as stated by

The Manos cannula is inserted under the ligament, and hooked up to a standard nerve stimulator. The characteristic movement of thenar muscles from a stimulation of a motor branch of median nerve tells the surgeon where the nerve bundle is located. Following that, the ligament can be released, when a previously blunt cannula is converted into a cutting device.

For more on the surgery, check out this video:

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