About Radial Tunnel Syndrome
Radial tunnel syndrome is caused by a compression of the radial nerve which travels along the radius (inner bone of the forearm). The origin can be at the elbow, wrist, or locations between, and diagnosis is sometimes difficult, as symptoms may mimic those of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). Typically, patients complain of a forearm that is burning, painful, or sore to the touch.
A hand specialist will make the diagnosis after gathering patient history and performing a physical examination. In cases that are particularly difficult to diagnose, steroid or lidocaine injections can help identify the location by determining where and whether they relieve pain. Extreme care must be exercised, however, to avoid injecting the nerve itself.
About the Endoscopic Assisted Radial Tunnel Decompression
Most patients with Radial Tunnel Decompression will not find relief without surgery. Our minimally invasive surgery begins with a small incision near the site where the compression has been identified. An endoscope, which has a camera, is inserted to visualize the nerve and surrounding tissue. Once exposed, the tissue binding the radial nerve is detached from the nerve to enlarge the tunnel (channel) through which the nerve runs, freeing the radial nerve from the bands that compressed it.
This outpatient procedure normally takes less than an hour and leaves no scars. Recovery time is short—usually, it takes around three weeks to return to normal activity.