A randomized controlled trial was done to compare the results of carpal tunnel decompression using the standard open approach and the Knifelights® technique. Twenty-six patients with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome requiring operation were selected for the study and the operative technique was randomized for the first hand. Six weeks later, the second hand was operated upon using the alternate technique. There was little difference between the two techniques with regard to time taken to return to work, return of grip strength, symptom relief, complications, incidence of pillar pain and patient preference. However, the incidence of scar tenderness was significantly lower with the Knifelight® technique.