Effectiveness of second corticosteroid injections for carpal tunnel syndrome

Authors


Correspondence to: N.L. Ashworth; e-mail: nigel.ashworth@albertahealthservices.ca

ABSTRACT

Introduction

A single local corticosteroid injection is an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. No study has specifically examined the effectiveness of a second injection on relapse after primary injection.

Methods

We identified a cohort of patients who had received an initial corticosteroid injection into 1 wrist and then, at a later date, a second injection into the same wrist. We compared the change in the Boston Symptom Severity Scale (SSS) and Functional Status Scale (FSS) between first and second injections.

Results

In 229 patients who received 2 injections the mean improvement on the SSS was 1.2 (SD = 0.8) for the first injection and 1.3 (SD = 0.9) for the second, which was not statistically significant. Improvement in FSS for the first injection was 0.4 (SD = 0.8) and 0.7 (SD = 0.8) for the second, which was statistically significant (P < 0.001).

Conclusion

Second corticosteroid injections appear to be at least as effective as the first. Muscle Nerve, 2013

Ancillary