The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist that opens into the hand. It is surrounded by the bones of the wrist (underneath) and the transverse carpal ligament (across the top). The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel and gives sensation to the thumb, forefinger, middle finger and half of the ring finger.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is pressure on the median nerve — the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. It can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
Carpal tunnel release is a surgical procedure that cuts into the ligament that is pressing on the nerve. Surgery is depends on how long the nerve compression has been occurring and its severity.
Sometimes surgeons do this procedure using a tiny camera that is attached to a monitor. The surgeon inserts the camera into your wrist through a very small surgical cut and looks at the monitor to see inside your wrist. This is called endoscopic surgery. The instrument used is called an endoscope.