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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Rehabilitation following carpal tunnel release

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (62nd percentile)

Mentioned by

2 blogs
4 tweeters
4 Facebook pages


41 Dimensions

Readers on

459 Mendeley
Rehabilitation following carpal tunnel release
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd004158.pub3
Pubmed ID

Susan Peters, Matthew J Page, Michel W Coppieters, Mark Ross, Venerina Johnston


Various rehabilitation treatments may be offered following carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) surgery. The effectiveness of these interventions remains unclear. This is the first update of a review first published in 2013. To review the effectiveness and safety of rehabilitation interventions following CTS surgery compared with no treatment, placebo, or another intervention. On 29 September 2015, we searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Specialised Register, the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL Plus, AMED, LILACS, and PsycINFO. We also searched PEDro (3 December 2015) and clinical trials registers (3 December 2015). Randomised or quasi-randomised clinical trials that compared any postoperative rehabilitation intervention with either no intervention, placebo, or another postoperative rehabilitation intervention in individuals who had undergone CTS surgery. Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, extracted data, assessed risk of bias, and assessed the quality of the body of evidence for primary outcomes using the GRADE (Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach according to standard Cochrane methodology. In this review we included 22 trials with a total of 1521 participants. Two of the trials were newly identified at this update. We studied different rehabilitation treatments including immobilisation using a wrist orthosis, dressings, exercise, controlled cold therapy, ice therapy, multi-modal hand rehabilitation, laser therapy, electrical modalities, scar desensitisation, and arnica. Three trials compared a rehabilitation treatment to a placebo, four compared rehabilitation to a no treatment control, three compared rehabilitation to standard care, and 15 compared various rehabilitation treatments to one another.Overall, the included studies were very low in quality. Thirteen trials explicitly reported random sequence generation; of these, five adequately concealed the allocation sequence. Four trials achieved blinding of both participants and outcome assessors. Five were at high risk of bias from incompleteness of outcome data at one or more time intervals, and eight had high risk of selective reporting bias.These trials were heterogeneous in terms of treatments provided, duration of interventions, the nature and timing of outcomes measured, and setting. Therefore, we were not able to pool results across trials.Four trials reported our primary outcome, change in self reported functional ability at three months or more. Of these, three trials provided sufficient outcome data for inclusion in this review. One small high-quality trial studied a desensitisation programme compared with standard treatment and revealed no statistically significant functional benefit based on the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire (BCTQ) (mean difference (MD) -0.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.39 to 0.33). One low-quality trial assessed participants six months post surgery using the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire and found no significant difference between a no formal therapy group and a group given a two-week course of multi-modal therapy commenced at five to seven days post surgery (MD 1.00, 95% CI -4.44 to 6.44). One very low-quality quasi-randomised trial found no statistically significant difference in function on the BCTQ at three months post surgery with early immobilisation (plaster wrist orthosis worn until suture removal) compared with a splint and late mobilisation (MD 0.39, 95% CI -0.45 to 1.23).Differences between treatments for secondary outcome measures (change in self reported functional ability measured at less than three months; change in CTS symptoms; change in CTS-related impairment measures; presence of iatrogenic symptoms from surgery; return to work or occupation; and change in neurophysiological parameters) were generally small and not statistically significant. Few studies reported adverse events. There is limited and, in general, low quality evidence for the benefit of the reviewed interventions. People who have undergone CTS surgery should be informed about the limited evidence of effectiveness of postoperative rehabilitation interventions. Until researchers provide results of more high-quality trials that assess the effectiveness and safety of various rehabilitation treatments, the decision to provide rehabilitation following CTS surgery should be based on the clinician's expertise, the patient's preferences and the context of the rehabilitation environment. It is important for researchers to identify patients who respond to a particular treatment and those who do not, and to undertake high-quality studies that evaluate the severity of iatrogenic symptoms from surgery, measure function and return-to-work rates, and control for confounding variables.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 4 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 459 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Netherlands 1 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
Unknown 456 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 84 18%
Student > Bachelor 67 15%
Researcher 44 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 42 9%
Student > Postgraduate 35 8%
Other 93 20%
Unknown 94 20%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 161 35%
Nursing and Health Professions 88 19%
Psychology 18 4%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 13 3%
Social Sciences 10 2%
Other 52 11%
Unknown 117 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 15. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 07 December 2018.
All research outputs
of 13,994,718 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 10,792 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 267,038 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 189 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,994,718 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,792 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.5. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 267,038 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 189 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 62% of its contemporaries.