Background: A potential alternative treatment to surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is to inject enzymes into the transverse carpal ligament to decrease its stiffness and alleviate pressure off the median nerve. An accurate injection is needed for delivery to achieve the effects of tissue degradation. The purposes of this study were to 1) determine injection sites using 3D reconstructed anatomy, and 2) insert the needle to the middle of the transverse carpal ligament thickness in situ. Methods: Six fresh-frozen cadaveric hands were used in this study. Five injection sites were determined in the sagittal plane along the center of the transverse carpal ligament thickness ulnar to the thenar muscle attachment using 3D ultrasonographic reconstruction. Each injection was delivered by rigidly fixing a 27-gauge needle to a six degrees of freedom robot arm programmed to insert the needle tip to the intended target. Ultrasound images were taken of the needle after insertion to measure accuracy and precision of the needle placement. Findings: The needle tip was successfully delivered to the middle region of the transverse carpal ligament thickness and visualized using ultrasound imaging. The accuracy and precision of the needle insertion were 0.83 and 0.31 mm, respectively. Interpretation: Methodology was established for robot-assisted needle insertion to the transverse carpal ligament using 3D ultrasonographic reconstructed anatomy. This methodology can be used in the future to deliver enzymatic injections to the transverse carpal ligament as a potential treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
- 3D reconstruction
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ultrasound imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine