Carpal tunnel syndrome treated with guided brain plasticity: a randomised, controlled study

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Carpal tunnel syndrome treated with guided brain plasticity

T2 - a randomised, controlled study

AU - Flondell, Magnus

AU - Rosen, Birgitta

AU - Andersson, Gert

AU - Björkman, Anders

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Introduction: Guided plasticity, induced by cutaneous forearm anaesthesia, improves hand sensibility in patients with nerve injury and vibration-induced neuropathy. This study investigated whether patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) would benefit from cutaneous forearm anaesthesia. Methods: Seventy patients with clinical and electroneurography-verified CTS were randomised to sensory training combined with either an anaesthetic cream (EMLA®) (n = 34) or a placebo cream (n = 36) on the volar part of the forearm. The treatment was repeated at increasing intervals over 8 weeks. The primary outcome was the Boston carpal tunnel questionnaire (BCTQ) symptom severity scale after 8 weeks. Secondary outcomes included activity limitations, sensory function, and nerve conduction. This study compared the longitudinal changes between the two groups, and with correction for multiple comparisons it also compared the longitudinal change within the groups. Results: There were no significant differences in primary or secondary outcomes between the groups. However, the BCTQ symptom severity scale improved significantly within the EMLA® group over the 8-week period (p = 0.001). Apart from this, no significant improvements in activity limitations, sensory function, or nerve conduction were seen in the two groups compared to baseline. Altogether, 47% of patients in the EMLA® group and 61% in the placebo group had been operated on with carpal tunnel release by 12 months. Conclusion: An 8-week treatment protocol with cutaneous forearm anaesthesia to guide brain plasticity gave no significant subjective or objective improvements in hand function compared to placebo.

AB - Introduction: Guided plasticity, induced by cutaneous forearm anaesthesia, improves hand sensibility in patients with nerve injury and vibration-induced neuropathy. This study investigated whether patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) would benefit from cutaneous forearm anaesthesia. Methods: Seventy patients with clinical and electroneurography-verified CTS were randomised to sensory training combined with either an anaesthetic cream (EMLA®) (n = 34) or a placebo cream (n = 36) on the volar part of the forearm. The treatment was repeated at increasing intervals over 8 weeks. The primary outcome was the Boston carpal tunnel questionnaire (BCTQ) symptom severity scale after 8 weeks. Secondary outcomes included activity limitations, sensory function, and nerve conduction. This study compared the longitudinal changes between the two groups, and with correction for multiple comparisons it also compared the longitudinal change within the groups. Results: There were no significant differences in primary or secondary outcomes between the groups. However, the BCTQ symptom severity scale improved significantly within the EMLA® group over the 8-week period (p = 0.001). Apart from this, no significant improvements in activity limitations, sensory function, or nerve conduction were seen in the two groups compared to baseline. Altogether, 47% of patients in the EMLA® group and 61% in the placebo group had been operated on with carpal tunnel release by 12 months. Conclusion: An 8-week treatment protocol with cutaneous forearm anaesthesia to guide brain plasticity gave no significant subjective or objective improvements in hand function compared to placebo.

KW - CTS

KW - EMLA

KW - PROM

KW - RCT

KW - sensibility

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84978149832&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/2000656X.2016.1205503

DO - 10.1080/2000656X.2016.1205503

M3 - Article

VL - 51

SP - 159

EP - 164

JO - Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery

JF - Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery

SN - 2000-656X

IS - 3

ER -