A critical appraisal of “Ultrasound treatment for treating the carpal tunnel syndrome: randomised 'sham' controlled trial”
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Abstract In this work I describe my process of finding and appraising “Ultrasound treatment for treating the carpal tunnel syndrome: randomised ‘sham’ controlled trial” written by Ebenbichler et al. I searched PubMed using the key words “Ultrasound AND carpal tunnel syndrome”. After excluding animal studies and studies not written in English, I found 52 results. While searching the majority of those I excluded papers that did not talk about CTS, or that had post-surgery patients. After comparing three different papers, I chose this one to appraise. This paper has many strengths such as the Randomized Control Trial and double-blinded design in the methods, along with the flow and readability of the results and discussion section. The weaknesses include a deficiency in context for CTS in specific populations, the time-demanding protocol for the patients, and an absence of detailed discussion about other’s findings on this same topic. Considering these strengths and weaknesses, I still estimate that this paper is of high-quality, and its results are significant. I recognize that future studies are needed to ensure clinical significance and proper dosage ranges of ultrasound therapy. Because of this study, I recommend ultrasound as an intervention, with a caution that the patient’s willingness to commit for intensive treatments is required.