Do You Have a Case for Negligent Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

Carpal tunnel release surgery is the most common hand surgery performed in the United States. One method of doing carpal tunnel surgery is endoscopically. Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery
allows a doctor to make a small incision in your wrist, and then a thin, flexible tube with a camera will be inserted. Thin tools are then inserted into the wrist with another small cut.

Serious complications are rare but can be life-altering. Because of the low rate of complications, if you suffered a major injury during carpal tunnel release surgery it could be due to the
negligence of the surgeon rather than just being an accepted and known risk of the procedure. Going through the records, looking at the experience of the surgeon, the physiology of your
hand, and the type of injury you suffered all will play a part in whether you have a malpractice case though.

The median nerve is one of the main nerves that “supplies” the hand (the remainder are supplied by the ulnar nerve). As a result damage to it can greatly impact the use of your hand. It passes
through the carpal tunnel, which is the passageway in the wrist that connects the forearm to the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome typically occurs when that median nerve gets squeezed or
compressed when it passes through the hand.

What types of injuries can be caused by a negligent carpal tunnel surgery?

There are a variety of injuries you can suffer during carpal tunnel surgery. One of the most common is nerve injury, specifically median nerve injury given it is typically the nerve being
compressed that leads to the syndrome.

To avoid a median nerve injury during endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery, your surgeon should ensure that he or she has lined up their instruments properly so as to avoid putting the
median nerve at risk and injuring it. The best way to avoid injury to the median nerve is by aligning your surgical tools with the ring finger, or what is caused using the ring finger axis,
when performing the surgery and making an incision.

Other important factors to avoid severing and damaging the median nerve are making sure the surgical tools do not impact certain structures – such as the ulnar bursa – which can the pull the
median nerve closer to the blade while the surgeon makes an incision. The hook of hamate is another structure a surgeon should be mindful of. The hamate bone is one of the eight small
carpal bones in the wrist that connect the forearm to the hand. If the endoscopic device hugs the radial border of the hook of hamate, the device can be levered away from the safe ring finger
axis and towards the median nerve.

A surgeon should know the topographical landmarks that mark the borders of the carpal tunnel. Such as the hook of the hamate, the superficial arch, and thenar branch of the median nerve. This helps ensure appropriate incision placement for endoscopic and open carpal tunnel surgery.

Median nerve injuries during endoscopic surgery

Finally you may have suffered injury to your median nerve during endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery because your surgeon failed to convert to an open procedure. In this scenario it could be a surgery where it is difficult to see critical structures and ensure the median nerve is being protected via the endoscopic approach. This could put the median nerve at a higher risk of injury
and may require your surgeon to convert to an open approach – involving a larger incision and viewing everything directly rather than with a camera.

A median nerve injury is not the only injury or complication you can suffer during carpal tunnel surgery. You can also have incomplete decompression of the trapped nerve leading to additional
unnecessary procedures, surgery done at the wrong site, or a delay in treatment. You could also suffer a tendon injury (the tissue that connects the muscle and bone) or an arch injury (area in the
palm of your hand).
The type of injury is not the only factor in the case. Another factor is the experience of the surgeon and the technique he or she used to perform the surgery. Endoscopic carpal tunnel
surgery is more technical and should be performed by more experienced physicians. An inexperienced physician attempting to perform surgery over his or her head can be an
explanation for surgical negligence.

Besides the above the severity of your injury and a review of your records by attorneys experienced in handling medical malpractice claims will help determine whether you have a case
on which you can go forward. Consulting with medical experts experienced in performing these surgeries will also be a major factor in your case. The Thistle Law Firm is experienced at
handling these claims. If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury or ongoing problems following carpal tunnel surgery the attorneys at the Thistle Law Firm are here to take your call at

Leave a Comment