Some patients have referred to this as the long-term carpal tunnel syndrome cure...what in the world are they talking about?
Well, recently at the American College of Rheumatology 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, a Doctor Ly-Pen talked about an interesting study concerning carpal tunnel surgery.
What this study showed was that at 6 years, 42% of the patients who recieved cortisone injections needed further treatment, compared with just 12% of the patients who underwent carpal tunnel surgery.
Dr. Ly-Pen said that although the two interventions were rated equally effective in the first year of follow-up, Surgery appears to be more effective in the long run.
Well first of all, you need to make sure that you actually have carpal tunnel syndrome, and keep in mind that even if you do, a majority of these cases don't need surgery. Often good, aggressive conservative treatments can give you good to excellent carpal tunnel pain relief.
If after you have exhausted all the coservative treatment plans and you are still having carpal tunnel symptoms and you have NCS/EMG studies that indicate severe CTS, then YES you would probably benefit more over the long run from having the carpal tunnel surgery vs cortisone injections.
Keep in mind that some patients will try a cortisone injection or two and sometimes this buys them 1 or 2 years and then maybe their job has changed or some other factor in their medical condition that may also help their carpal tunnel condition. Your orthopedic hand surgeon should be the best one to make this call.
So, instead of calling this a long-term carpal tunnel syndrome cure, I would rather say it is a long-term treatment option.
Another article on
long-term carpal tunnel syndrome cure.