Surgical Technique for Concurrent Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release and Distal Radius Fracture Fixation Using the Flexor Carpi Radialis Approach: A Case Series

Abhiram R. Bhashyam, Dennis S. Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Multiple prior studies have assessed the results of open approaches for concurrent carpal tunnel release with distal radius fracture fixation; however, less is known regarding the feasibility of endoscopic techniques, especially in the setting of high-energy trauma. In this study, we assessed the feasibility and results of concurrent endoscopic carpal tunnel release and distal radius fracture fixation using the flexor carpi radialis approach after high- and low-energy trauma. Methods: We performed a retrospective, single-surgeon study of 17 consecutive adult patients (aged >18 years) who underwent open reduction internal fixation of an acute distal radius fracture with concurrent endoscopic carpal tunnel release at a level 1 trauma center between April 2017 and October 2020. Recovery from median nerve dysfunction was assessed from patient charts at routinely scheduled postoperative follow-up visits (at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks). Results: The transverse carpal ligament could be visualized and released in all patients. All patients had a return of light touch sensibility with or without intermittent paresthesia by 12 weeks after surgery (the median time from surgery to recovery was 19 days [range, 12–82 days]). There were no patient reports or clinical examination evidence of palmar cutaneous branch, recurrent motor branch, or the third common digital nerve injury. Time to recovery was significantly different in the setting of high- versus low-energy trauma (26 days vs 18 days, respectively; P = .02). Conclusions: In this study, we demonstrated that concurrent endoscopic carpal tunnel release using the flexor carpi radialis approach for distal radius fracture fixation in the settings of high- and low-energy trauma is safe from major complications and effective at releasing the transverse carpal ligament. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery Global Online
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Distal radius fracture
  • Endoscopic
  • FCR approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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