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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2015 October;51(5):521-8

Copyright © 2015 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy and ultrasound therapy improve pain and function in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. A randomized controlled trial

Paoloni M. 1, Tavernese E. 2, Cacchio A. 3, D’orazi V. 4, Ioppolo F. 5, Fini M. 6, Santilli V. 1, 5, Mangone M. 1

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 2 Pediatric Neuro‑Rehabilitation Division, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, School of Medicine, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy; 4 Department of Surgical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 5 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Azienda Policlinico Umberto I, Rome, Italy; 6 IRCSS San Raffaele, Rome, Italy


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BACKGROUND: Ultrasound (US) therapy improves symptoms in carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) patients. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) uses acoustic energy to determine its clinical effects, as US-therapy does.
AIM: The aim of this study was to compare the short-term efficacy of US and ESWT on mild and moderate CTS.
STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: University outpatient service.
POPULATION: Twenty-five patients with mild to moderate CTS, for a total of 42 wrists.
METHODS: patients were randomized to receive US, cryo-US or ESWT, and were evaluated for pain and function before treatment started, at the end of treatment, and four and 12 weeks after the end of the treatment.
RESULTS: Significant improvement was noted in all groups for pain (P<0.05) and functionality (P<0.05). Patients in ESWT group show greater pain improvement at 12-weeks follow-up when compared with both US and cryo-US groups (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Patients affected by CTS might benefit from the application of US, cryo-US or ESWT. Benefits persist 3 months after the end of treatment.
CLINICAL REHABIL IMPACT: Clinicians might consider the possibility of a short-term non-surgical management for mild-to-moderate CTS.

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