Sunday, April 22, 2007

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Eased For Month Or More By Single Injection

Medical help looks promising for Carpal Tunnel Syndrom ...

"A single corticosteroid injection in the wrist can offer at least a month of relief to people suffering from severe carpal tunnel syndrome, according to an updated review of studies by Canadian researchers.

Local injections are the most effective nonsurgical remedy for carpal tunnel, said Shawn Marshall, M.D., a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa and lead author of the review. “One of the goals is to avoid surgery,” he said.

The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates research in all aspects of health care. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing trials on a topic.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is irritation of the nerve that passes from the wrist to the hand by way of the carpal tunnel. Repetitive stress commonly causes the syndrome, especially in industrial or manufacturing settings with vibrating tools. The most frequent symptoms are pain and numbness in the fingers. Severe carpal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent loss of feeling and partial paralysis in the thumb.

This is the second update that Marshall and his co-authors have made since the initial publication of the review in 2000, which comprised three studies. Since then, there have been many more studies. For this update, the authors looked at a dozen studies with 671 participants.

They found that a single local corticosteroid injection provided clinical improvement in symptoms at one month when compared to a single systemic injection. In two studies, patients showed significant improvement in less than one month after receiving a local corticosteroid injection when compared to receiving a placebo. Another study that compared receiving a local corticosteroid injection to taking an oral corticosteroid found greater improvement among those who received the injection as long as three months after treatment."    (Continued via ScienceDaily)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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