A prospective, randomized and placebo controlled study of the efficacy of treatment with laser, with or without splinting of wrist in idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome

J. Rioja Toro, P. Estévez Poy, F. Martínez Pardo
Estudio prospectivo, aleatorizado y controlado con placebo, para valorar la eficacia del tratamiento con láser, asociado o no aortesis de muneca en el síndrome del túnel del carpo idiopático
Rehabilitación (Madr); 46(2):92-102, 2012

Objective: To evaluate incidence by gender in the carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), the evolution in those treated with real laser (rL) versus those treated with placebo laser (pL), both groups without orthesis; evolution of wrist treated with rL plus orthosis versus those treated with rL without orthosis and evolution of wrist treated with rL + orthosis versus those treated with pL without orthosis.
Materials and methods: A total of 49 patients with CTS with mild or moderate involvement were selected. They were treated with laser 808 and 905nm and 25W peak power. In 15 patients, treatment was associated to orthesis in the most affected hand. In 12 patients, both hands were affected and orthosis was not used in 22. Total energy applied/session was 915 J/cm2 on an area of 4×4cm2.
Statistical analysis: The SPSS 15.0, Student’s T test was used, with significant values for P<.05, corroborated with the Wilcoxon rank sum test.
Results: The incidence was much higher in women (93.5%). In patients with orthosis, there are significant differences in all the values in the lasertreated subjects versus the placebo-laser treated ones. When orthesis was not used, there were significant differences between those treated with real laser versus those treated with placebo. In patients treated with laser and orthesis versus those treated with laser without orthesis, no significant differences were found. When patients treated with laser plus orthesis were compared with those treated with pL without orthesis, very significant differences were found in favor of the former. There are no significant differences between the values obtained at the first and third month of treatment.
Conclusions: Treatment with laser in CTS patients is more effective than placebo up to three months after the treatment has been completed. The use of orthotic devices and laser is no more effective than the use of laser alone.