Local corticosteroid injections for carpal tunnel syndrome (cts)

Clinical question: 
How effective are local corticosteroid injections for carpal tunnel syndrome (cts)?
Bottom line: 
Local corticosteroid injections for cts provide greater clinical improvement in symptoms one month after injection compared to placebo (NNT = 1). They also provide significantly greater clinical improvement compared to oral corticosteroids up to three months after treatment. Two injections do not provide significant further clinical improvement of symptoms.
Caveat: 
Significant symptom relief beyond one month has not been demonstrated.
Context: 
Cts is a common problem with a prevalence of 3.8% in the general population. Up to 1/3 of patients can have spontaneous improvement in their symptoms without any formal medical treatment.
Review CD#: 
CD001554
PEARLS No: 
21
Date: 
May, 2007
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy