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How effective are corticosteroid injections for treating carpal tunnel?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Research shows that corticosteroid injections provide short-term relief of carpal tunnel syndrome. Some experts recommend trying 2 or 3 injections before considering carpal tunnel release surgery, but people should not have more than 3 or 4 injections. About 50% of people who have corticosteroid injections go on to have carpal tunnel release surgery within a year.

Corticosteroid injections are more effective than oral corticosteroids. The effect may last for up to 3 months after an injection. But injections are not more effective than either wrist splinting or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.