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).
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.
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).
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.