Tomaino Orthopaedic Care for Shoulder, Hand, and Elbow
Suite 201 1445 Portland Avenue
Rochester, NY 14621
What's the success of a single corticosteroid injection for carpal tunnel syndrome?
An study published recently in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, by Dr. Phil Blazar and colleagues from Boston, addresses this question.
Here are the take home conclusions:
1. A single injection achieved symptom relief in 79% of patients at 6 weeks, 53% at 6 months---and 31% at 12 months
2. Patients with Diabetes were 2.6 x more likely to report recurrence of symtoms at 12 months
3. Neither age, preinjection symptom duration, nor preinjection electrophysiologic severity predicted symptom recurrence (mild v moderate, since severe cases were excluded).
The take home message is that a corticosteroid injection appears to be a reasonable option for decreasing symptoms of mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome, but at one year only one-third of patients still experienced relief. Whether to move to surgery when symptoms recur or to administer a second injection was not addressed in this study.
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