Corticosteroid Injections for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Long-Term Follow-Up in a Population-Based Cohort

Stefanie Evers, Andrew J Bryan, Thomas L Sanders, Tina Gunderson, Russell Gelfman, Peter C Amadio
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2017, 140 (2): 338-347

BACKGROUND: Corticosteroid injection is a recommended treatment option for carpal tunnel syndrome, before considering surgery. Nevertheless, injections remain controversial because there is strong evidence of only short-term benefits. This study aimed to determine the reintervention rate and to identify prognostic indicators for subsequent treatment after corticosteroid injection for carpal tunnel syndrome.

METHODS: This study evaluated residents of Olmsted County treated with a corticosteroid injection for carpal tunnel syndrome between 2001 and 2010. Treatment failure was the primary outcome of interest. Two definitions for failure were examined: (1) the patient receiving subsequent procedural intervention and (2) the patient undergoing carpal tunnel release. Survival was estimated using Kaplan-Meier methods, and association of covariates with increased failure was modeled using Cox proportional hazards regression.

RESULTS: The study included 774 affected hands in 595 patients. The median follow-up period was 7.4 years. Reintervention was performed in 68 percent of cases, of which 63 percent resulted in eventual surgery. Injectate volume was significant for the outcome of any retreatment [hazard ratio, 0.879 (95 percent CI, 0.804 to 0.96)] and surgery [hazard ratio, 0.906 (95 percent CI, 0.827 to 0.99)]. Rheumatoid arthritis was also significant in both models, with a hazard ratio of 0.627 (95 percent CI, 0.404 to 0.97) for any retreatment and 0.493 (95 percent CI, 0.292 to 0.83) for surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort, 32 percent of patients did not receive subsequent treatment after a single injection, which indicates that there is a therapeutic role for corticosteroid injections in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Further research is necessary to identify those patients who will benefit from an injection, to provide more individually tailored treatment.



You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"