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Steroids Effective Short Term for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
But most patients still have surgery after one year

THURSDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Methylprednisolone injections relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in the short term, but most patients still have surgery at one year, according to a study published in the Sept. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Isam Atroshi, M.D., Ph.D., from Hässleholm Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues randomly assigned 111 adult patients with carpal tunnel syndrome with no previous steroid injections to 80 mg methylprednisolone, 40 mg methylprednisolone, or placebo.

The researchers found significant improvement in disease severity in both methylprednisolone groups compared with placebo at 10 weeks, but not at one year. After one year, 73 percent of the 80 mg methylprednisolone group, 81 percent of the 40 mg methylprednisolone group, and 92 percent of the placebo group had surgery. Surgery was significantly less likely for the 80 mg methylprednisolone group compared with placebo (odds ratio, 0.24).

"Methylprednisolone injections for carpal tunnel syndrome have significant benefits in relieving symptoms at 10 weeks and reducing the rate of surgery one year after treatment, but three out of four patients had surgery within one year," Atroshi and colleagues conclude.

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