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J Hand Ther. 2007 Jan-Mar;20(1):20-7; quiz 28.

New carpal ligament traction device for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome unresponsive to conservative therapy.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York, Manhattan, New York, USA.


This study evaluated the treatment efficacy and patient satisfaction of a new hand traction device called C-TRAC in patients that failed conservative therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Patients were diagnosed with electromyography and nerve conduction studies. Only patients with a positive Phalens test and a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) of more than 5/10 were eligible for the study. The patients had tried nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), resting hand splint during the night, acupuncture, and hand therapy for a minimum of four months. To test C-TRAC as the sole treatment for CTS, patients included in the study stopped all other forms of therapy (NSAIDS, hand therapy, acupuncture, massage, manipulations, and steroid injections). A group of 19 patients used C-TRAC hand traction device for 5 minutes three times daily for four weeks. After the four-week period the device was used as needed. The patients were followed up weekly for four weeks, then at seven months. VAS was used to assess pain, tingling, and numbness in the treated hand. The number of times patients woke up at night and satisfaction with the use of the device were also evaluated. The average VAS for pain decreased from 8.53 to 1.05. The average tingling decreased from 8.15 to 0.95. The average numbness decreased from 8.47 to 0.95. The average number of times patients woke up per night because of CTS symptoms decreased from 3.05 to 0.10. Patients showed significant improvement at four weeks and results were maintained at seven months follow-up. Fifteen patients (79%) rated their treatment as excellent and four (21%) as good and none (0%) as fair or poor.


This device is very effective and well tolerated in treatment of CTS in patients that failed conservative therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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