Can carpal tunnel syndrome be treated with PRP therapy?

PRP treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that affects people's quality of life. 3 to 6% of the adult population have carpal tunnel syndrome.

In some cases, CTS recovers on its own, but many need medical help.

Unfortunately, many modern therapies have only given patients short-term relief. They cannot solve the potential problems caused by CTS.

Platelet-rich plasma is an effective method of regenerative medicine and has shown encouraging results in treating carpal tunnel. But first, it can be helpful to understand what CTS is and why it occurs.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an increasingly painful hand and arm condition caused by pressure, damage or repeated injury to the median nerve at the wrist.

Because pressure on the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome, anything that crowds, irritates or compresses the nerve in the canal can cause symptoms.

This pressure can be caused by swelling or anything that would cause the tunnel to become smaller.

Sypmtoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

Karpaltunnelsyndrom mit PRP

The disease can cause many symptoms, including:

 

  • Loss of sensation in the patient's arm or hand
  • Loss of thumb muscles
  • Loss of grip strength due to pain in the wrist and arm

 

Initially there is numbness and pain in the index and middle fingers, and in the advanced stages also in the thumb. Eventually, three and a half fingers from the thumb to the ring finger become numb, the area innervated by the median nerve.

The symptoms do not occur on the little finger. In the acute phase, the numbness and pain are characterised by intensification at dawn.

The numbness and pain can be relieved by shaking the hand, as the blood flow to the damaged nerve in the carpal tunnel is improved by the movement of the wrist and the pressure is temporarily relieved. (In worse cases, there can be numbness and pain from the elbow to the shoulder. In addition, the muscles at the base of the thumb, called the ball of the thumb, atrophy, making it difficult to grip objects with the thumb and index finger.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Compression can be caused by repetition of the same movement, an injury, swelling of the muscles around the carpal tunnel or a mass. It is more likely to occur in people who overuse their hands at work or in sports.

It is characteristically common in women during pregnancy, childbirth and menopause, but the cause is not clear and it is called idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome.

However, the cause of this syndrome is not known and it is called idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome. It is thought that the swelling of the synovial tendon sheath caused by the disruption of female hormones increases the internal pressure of the carpal tunnel and causes the symptoms.

Examination and diagnosis

The median nerve innervates from the middle finger to half of the thumb side of the ring finger.

Since sensation is impaired on the middle finger side of the ring finger but normal on the little finger side, this finding is highly suspicious for carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, the diagnosis is based on the presence of numbness and pain when tapping the wrist (Tinel's sign) and an exacerbation of symptoms when the fingertips are pointed down and the backs of the left and right hands are held together (positive Phalen's test).

As the disease progresses, the muscles at the base of the thumb may atrophy so that the thumb and index finger can no longer form a neat circle, so that muscle atrophy can also be diagnosed.

The condition and function of the nerves are then examined by X-rays of the wrist and nerve conduction tests. If a mass is suspected, an ultrasound or MRI may be necessary.

Treatment methods for carpal tunnel syndrome

Karpaltunnelsyndrom Plateletrichplasma

Wrist splints

One of the most common treatments a doctor will recommend is a wrist splint. These splints hold the wrist in the correct position to reduce pain and prevent further injury. Many patients wear wrist braces at night to help relieve symptoms during the condition.

There is not much evidence that wrist splints can be used for a long time. It is recommended that patients use this treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome until the condition worsens.

Anti-inflammatory drugs

Another commonly used treatment is anti-inflammatory medication, such as Advil. These types of medications are very useful for short-term pain relief, but they cannot solve the underlying problem of the disease. These medicines can only relieve the pain. Over time, the patient's condition will continue to worsen.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are injections that your doctor gives you into the affected area. These injections can reduce inflammation and swelling, thereby reducing pressure on the nerves. In the short term, this treatment is also excellent, but it cannot solve the underlying condition of the carpal tunnel. In one study, 63% of patients who received corticosteroid injections had surgery.

Operation

Patients usually opt for surgery.

There are different types of surgery, but usually the ligaments in the wrist are cut to free the nerves.

The road to recovery after carpal tunnel surgery is usually very long. It can take at least three months for the patient to fully recover.

In addition, surgery may not relieve the patient's symptoms in the long run. In one study, only 14% of patients who had surgery had their symptoms go away after four years.

Number of operations. To make matters worse, 46% have moderate to severe pain, 52% have moderate to severe numbness and 40% have difficulty grasping and using small objects. Carpal tunnel syndrome.

The use of PRP treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome

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Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a proven regenerative medicine PRP therapy that can treat a variety of diseases and conditions. There is ample evidence that PRP can be a viable treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. PRP treatment is used in a variety of disciplines to improve patients' quality of life. PRP uses the body's natural healing abilities to repair itself.

  • During PRP treatment, your blood is drawn with special PRP tubes, just like a blood draw, and the concentrated platelets from your blood are inserted into areas of the carpal tunnel region.
  • The platelets contain growth and healing factors. When concentrated by simple centrifugation, your blood plasma becomes "rich" in healing factors, hence the name Platelet RICH Plasma.
  • The procedure and preparation of therapeutic doses of growth factors consists of an autologous blood draw (the patient's blood), plasma separation (the blood is centrifuged) and application of the growth factor rich plasma (injection of the plasma into the area). 

PRP can repair the underlying condition that causes carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Your body can repair the tissues and ligaments that put pressure on the median nerve. Once your body has repaired these damaged areas, the median nerve can function as it did before the condition occurred.

Evidence is growing that PRP is an effective form of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Researchers are creating more and more studies looking at the effectiveness of PRP therapy in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The hope is that PRP will one day be a standard treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Studies have proven the effectiveness of PRP for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Small and promising study.

A small study with 14 patients showed how effective PRP treatment is for CTS patients. In this study, PRP therapy was used. They received treatment on the affected wrist around the median nerve. Advised patients to resume daily activities after treatment. Eight patients recovered completely or almost completely after one month.

The patients' condition improved significantly. In the patients whose condition had improved, the disability of the arms, shoulders and hands showed that the upper limbs were clearly functioning after treatment. After three months, the patient's condition remained largely unchanged. The patient reported no side effects. Pain or other medical records. It should be noted that once the platelets have been separated from the patient's blood, no further growth or healing factors are added to the PRP. Increasing the growth and healing factors in the treatment may improve the patient's prognosis.

A larger study

Another study observed the effect of PRP in 60 patients and divided them into two groups: 

One group received PRP, the other a placebo. 

The placebo group received only nightly wrist bandages, while the PRP group received a PRP dose injected with ultrasound.

The results are very encouraging. Comparing the two groups, the PRP group performed better than the placebo group on all CTS tests performed.

The researchers believe that the growth factors contained in PRP enable the body to repair the damage caused by the compression of the median nerve. Studies have shown that PRP treatment is a safe and effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome patients. For patients who do not respond to conventional treatments and want to avoid surgery, PRP may be a possible treatment. PRP treatment can help you recover faster.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment after surgery

If the PRP treatment of regenerative medicine is not suitable for the patient, surgery may be required. Researchers have begun to explore the idea of combining regenerative medicine with traditional surgical techniques. 

Combining them may lead to more effective treatments. There is evidence that using PRP after carpal tunnel surgery can help patients recover more quickly. 

One study included 50 patients who underwent carpal tunnel surgery. One group of patients received PRP and the other group received a placebo. After six weeks, both groups of patients had the same pain and function scores. 

However, the PRP group recovered much faster after surgery. 

The science behind this research makes sense: PRP treatment can promote healing, and the patient's body can recover faster after surgery because of the treatment. Other repair factors make the body regenerate faster. The patient can resume normal activities more quickly, which is one of the main disadvantages of carpal tunnel surgery. Regenerative medicine and traditional medicine can go hand in hand to develop innovative treatments. 

Many traditional researchers and medical practitioners fear that regenerative medicine may replace traditional methods. You need to understand that regenerative medicine can complement existing treatments. And can improve your ability to treat patients appropriately. In the future, platelet-rich plasma could play an important role in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Talk to your doctor right away to find out if you are a candidate for PRP treatment for tunnel syndrome. You can improve your quality of life with this method of regenerative medicine.

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