Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a commonly seen peripheral nerve mononeuropathy. Corticosteroid injection within the carpal tunnel is among the conservative treatment options. The exact mechanism of action of steroids is not fully clear; decreased inflammation surrounding nerves or tendons is thought to be the main effect. Lidocaine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on certain cells (monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils etc.). The aim of this study is to evaulate the efficacy of lidocaine treatment as a alternative to corticosteroid treatment in carpal tunnel syndrome.
A total of 67 carpal tunnel syndrome patients who were diagnosed with physical examination and EMG were evaluated. Twenty-nine patients received a mixture of normal saline solution and lidocaine (0.5 cc of normal saline solution and 0.5 cc of lidocaine) while 38 patients were administered betamethasone dipropionate (1 cc). Quick DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores were noted in 1st, 3rd and 6th month follow-ups.
There were no significant difference between saline solution + Lidocaine group and betamethasone dipropionate groups; initial, 1st, 3rd and 6th month VAS scores and QDASH scores (p > 0.05).
Considering the potential side effects of corticosteroid, lidocaine injection is a good alternative treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome instead of corticosteroids.
Carpal tunnel; lidocaine; pain