Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
JAMA. 2002 Sep 11;288(10):1245-51.

Splinting vs surgery in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. aam.gerritsen.emgo@med.vu.nl

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can be treated with nonsurgical or surgical options. However, there is no consensus on the most effective method of treatment.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the short-term and long-term efficacy of splinting and surgery for relieving the symptoms of CTS.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS:

A randomized controlled trial conducted from October 1998 to April 2000 at 13 neurological outpatient clinics in the Netherlands. A total of 176 patients with clinically and electrophysiologically confirmed idiopathic CTS were assigned to wrist splinting during the night for at least 6 weeks (89 patients) or open carpal tunnel release (87 patients); 147 patients (84%) completed the final follow-up assessment 18 months after randomization.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

General improvement, number of nights waking up due to symptoms, and severity of symptoms.

RESULTS:

In the intention-to-treat analyses, surgery was more effective than splinting on all outcome measures. The success rates (based on general improvement) after 3 months were 80% for the surgery group (62/78 patients) vs 54% for the splinting group (46/86 patients), which is a difference of 26% (95% confidence interval [CI], 12%-40%; P<.001). After 18 months, the success rates increased to 90% for the surgery group (61/68 patients) vs 75% for the splinting group (59/79 patients), which is a difference of 15% (95% CI, 3%-27%; P =.02). However, by that time 41% of patients (32/79) in the splint group had also received the surgery treatment.

CONCLUSION:

Treatment with open carpal tunnel release surgery resulted in better outcomes than treatment with wrist splinting for patients with CTS.

PMID:
12215131
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center