Hydrodissection is a minimally invasive technique done under ultrasound guidance. It involves injecting fluid around a target to free it from surrounding tissues.
Hydrodissection has been studied extensively in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common nerve entrapments. In carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve gets trapped at the wrist. This causes pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hand.
There are many treatment options available for carpal tunnel syndrome. Conservative measures include oral anti-inflammatory medications, bracing, stretching, and activity modification. More severe cases may require injections or surgery.
Historically, cortisone injections were used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Randomized controlled trials suggest nerve hydrodissection may be superior. It may even prevent the need for surgery.
This study compared hydrodissection using 5% dextrose solution vs cortisone injection for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. They found that patients with nerve hydrodissection using 5% dextrose solution had greater benefits at 4 months and 6 months post injection.
How does it work?
Injecting fluid around a nerve frees the nerve from other tissues constricting it. This helps facilitate normal nerve movement. Nerve conduction studies show improvements in conduction velocity. Researchers also think dextrose solution decreases irritation and inflammation of the nerve.
Hydrodissection can be used to treat most other peripheral nerve compression syndromes.