Surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is called a “release” because the transverse carpal ligament that covers the carpal tunnel is cut to release the pressure inside of the tunnel. Endoscopic and open carpal tunnel release are procedures performed by hand specialists. Endoscopic carpal tunnel release is a minimally invasive, muscle preserving procedure that releases the carpal tunnel by inserting a small camera into the hand through small incisions. Open carpal tunnel release requires a larger incision and will cut the muscles over the carpal tunnel. Open carpal tunnel surgery is more invasive and takes longer to recover from.