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Clin Interv Aging. 2018 Jan 18;13:117-124. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S151290. eCollection 2018.

Different doses of steroid injection in elderly patients with carpal tunnel syndrome: a triple-blind, randomized, controlled trial.

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Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences.
Research Center on Aging, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.



Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is commonly seen in elderly populations, in part due to increased presence of predisposing comorbidities as well as physiological changes. We aimed at comparing the effectiveness of different doses of steroid using the ultrasound-guided hydrodissection method in elderly patients with CTS.


We conducted a prospective, triple-blind, randomized, controlled trial in elderly patients with CTS. Patients were allocated to one of three groups by simplified randomization. Groups I-III received 80 mg triamcinolone (2 mL) and 1 mL of 2% lidocaine; 40 mg triamcinolone (1 mL), 1 mL of 2% lidocaine, and 1 mL normal saline; and 1 mL of 2% lidocaine and 2 mL normal saline, respectively to make up to 3 mL volume. A wrist splint was then applied for support. Outcome measures included the visual analog scale (VAS) and the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire, and median motor and sensory nerve conduction and its sonographic inlet cross-sectional area were used as objective measures. All data were recorded at baseline and 2, 12, and 24 weeks after injection. The investigators, patients, and statistician were blinded to the treatment assignment.


In total, 161 patients were recruited without statistically significant demographic differences between the three groups. There were no statistically significant differences between groups in any outcome, with the exception of the median distal motor latency, which was greater in Group II at all three follow-up visits, and significant baseline VAS difference between Groups I and III.


Hydrodissection with lidocaine and normal saline is as effective as hydrodissection with low- and high-dose steroid medication in elderly patients with CTS in this study, but further studies with matched baseline measures and also a sham group are suggested for definitive recommendation.


carpal tunnel syndrome; elderly; hand pain; hydrodissection; paresthesia; steroid injection; ultrasonography

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