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C. Better Ways To Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Narrator: This is Science Today. A more efficient, less-invasive technique to treat carpal tunnel syndrome is being worked on at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Engineer Robert Van Vorhis (VORS) says the new technique involves endoscopes.

Van Vorhis: Endoscopes are like little telescopes that you go into the body with and traditionally, they've been used in the abdomen and in the abdomen all the organs are different colors.

Narrator: But in joint spaces, the tendons, ligaments and nerves are the same white color, which make visualization a problem and can impede the success rate of surgery. So, Van Vorhis and his colleague, Lee Haddad (HUH-DAD), are using advanced optics to get a clearer picture without all the glare.

Van Vorhis: You can think of it as image processing at the speed of light. The optic solution will become potentially part of the endoscope itself and the physician may never even know about this part in specific, but they'll be able to benefit from it's function.

Narrator: And so will patients. The Lab is currently working with an industrial partner to create a cost-effective prototype. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.