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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 Dec 17

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.21.07021-0

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Ultrasound improves motor distal latency on patients with carpal tunnel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis

Alicia PERIS MOYA 1, José M. PÉREZ MÁRMOL 1 , Elías F. KHOURY MARTÍN 2, María C. GARCÍA RÍOS 1

1 Department of Physiotherapy, University of Granada, Granada, Spain; 2 Neurophysiology Department, Hospital Clínico Universitario San Cecilio, Granada, Spain


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INTRODUCTION: Is the application of ultrasound effective on pain, the severity of the symptoms, physical function, strength, and neurophysiological parameters of the median nerve conduction in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome?
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was performed by using a structured search strategy in Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science and PEDro databases. All the primary studies included samples with carpal tunnel syndrome treated by: ultrasound versus no treatment, therapeutic ultrasound versus sham ultrasound, ultrasound and usual care versus usual care, or ultrasound and other intervention versus the same intervention. The outcomes measures registered were pain, severity of symptoms, function, strength, and neurophysiological parameters (motor distal latency and sensory distal latency) of the median nerve. Methodological quality was evaluated by PEdro scale.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Ten clinical trials met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review. Eight trials were meta-analyzed, which included a total of 2069 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. The methodological quality of the included studies ranged among limited (5 trials), moderate (3 trials), and high (2 trials). In one of the electrophysiological parameters (motor distal latency), a significant difference between groups after the use of ultrasound was observed (MD =-0.10; fixed 95% CI=-0.20, -0.01; p = 0.04). No significant differences between groups were observed at post-treatment for pain (p = 0.29), severity of symptoms (p = 0.99), function (p = 0.54), strength (p = 0.27) and for the rest of the electrophysiological parameters evaluated (p > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The use of ultrasound on patients with carpal tunnel syndrome seems to improve motor distal latency. This finding implies a partial improvement at the neurophysiological level, representing a reduction in the grade of clinical severity. Additional clinical trials with a high methodological quality are needed to investigate the doses at which ultrasound are most effective.


KEY WORDS: Systematic review; Meta-analysis; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Physical therapy; Ultrasound

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