Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common peripheral neuropathy of the upper extremity. Surgical decompression through a limited open palmar incision is still the most widely used treatment. The aim of this study was to compare two different incision surgical techniques for carpal tunnel surgery.

Patients and Methods
In this retrospective study, 41 patient hands (transverse surgery) were compared with 55 controls (longitudinal surgery) using, as validated outcome instruments, the “Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire” for postoperative effectiveness to measure symptoms, disability and health-related quality of life. The patients were monitored just before the CTS surgery and then 4 weeks and 3 months after surgery.

Complications resulted  few and comparable for both techniques. Results showed similar outcomes in both procedures regarding symptoms release and function, except for one month results where function was better for the transverse incision (p<0.01) which required reduced time, anyway.

The transverse incision technique proved a suitable optimal solution for carpal tunnel release. This technique, therefore, induces to a better tolerated scar at short term follow up, compared to a standard palmar longitudinal incision.