Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and the safety of ultrasound (US)-guided vs. blind steroid injections in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
Design: This prospective randomized single-blind clinical trial included 46 patients with CTS (46 affected median nerves). The subjects were randomized-to either the US-guided or the blind injection group-before they received 40 mg of methylprednisolone. They were evaluated using the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire symptom/function at baseline and at 6 wks and 12 wks after injection, and the side effects were noted.
Results: The symptom severity and functional status scores improved significantly in both groups at 6 wks after treatment, and these improvements persisted at 12 wks after treatment (all P < 0.05). The improvement in symptom severity scores in the US-guided group at 12 wks was higher than in the palpation-guided group (P < 0.05). Average time to symptom relief was shorter in the US-guided group (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of side effects (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: Although both US-guided and blind steroid injections were effective in reducing the symptoms of CTS and improving the function, an earlier onset/better improvement of symptom relief suggests that US-guided steroid injection may be more effective than are blind injections in CTS.