Bilateral endoscopic carpal tunnel releases: Simultaneous versus staged operative intervention

Edward V. Fehringer, Jeffrey J. Tiedeman, Kristyn Dobler, Jack A. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: Open and endoscopic carpal tunnel release techniques have achieved excellent results for treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms frequently occur bilaterally but there are no reports of simultaneous operative intervention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate results in patients who underwent staged bilateral endoscopic carpal tunnel releases and in those who underwent simultaneous bilateral releases. Type of Study: Retrospective review. Methods: The efficacy of simultaneous and staged bilateral endoscopic carpal tunnel releases was evaluated using a retrospective chart review. This included patients who underwent these procedures during a 48-month period. Group A (48 patients) underwent staged procedures; group group B (48 patients) underwent simultaneous procedures. Inclusion criteria were a positive history and physical examination, positive electrical studies, and failure of conservative measures. Single-incision endoscopic releases were performed on an outpatient basis. Early rehabilitation with intermittent splinting was utilized. The analysis included complications, satisfaction, return to work, physician visits, physical therapy sessions, days to maximum medical improvement for all, and average percentage permanent partial impairment for Workers' Compensation patients. Results: A decrease in return to work at regular duty was noted in the simultaneous group compared with the staged group for patients who had not filed Workers' Compensation claims (P = .0158). The simultaneous group had fewer physician visits than the staged group (P = .0002). Overall patient satisfaction was equal. Conclusions: Simultaneous bilateral endoscopic carpal tunnel releases are well tolerated with mild restrictions and a decrease in cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-321
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2002


  • Bilateral
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Endoscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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