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Keywords:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • feasibility study;
  • hand function pilot trial;
  • randomized trial;
  • sensory relearning

Abstract

Introduction: Surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome does not always alleviate sensory deficits, especially in patients with severe disease. No proven treatment is currently available for these patients. Methods: We conducted a pilot randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the feasibility, patient acceptability, and efficacy of a sensory relearning (SR) program in patients who have ongoing sensory deficits after carpal tunnel decompression. Patients were randomized to receive either: (i) a 4-week sensory relearning home program; or (ii) no further treatment. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and 4 and 8 weeks after randomization. Results: Thirty-one patients were randomized. Efficacy analysis adjusted for baseline score and age showed a potentially clinically worthwhile benefit of SR. Conclusions: Data on screening, eligibility, and patient acceptability of the intervention confirm the feasibility of undertaking a definitive randomized, controlled trial. Muscle Nerve, 2012