Burcu METİN ÖKMEN1, Korgün ÖKMEN2, Lale ALTAN3

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Health Sciences, Bursa Yüksek İhtisas Training and Research Hospital, Bursa, Turkey
2Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, University of Health Sciences, Bursa Yüksek İhtisas Training and Research Hospital, Bursa, Turkey
3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Uludağ University Faculty of Medicine, Bursa, Turkey

Keywords: Exercise, hand osteoarthritis, nerve block, superficial branch of the radial nerve, ultrasound

Abstract

Objectives: This study aims to investigate the effects of ultrasound-guided superficial branch of the radial nerve block on pain, function and quality of life in patients with hand osteoarthritis.
Patients and methods: In this prospective, randomized and controlled single-blind study, 50 female patients (mean age 59.0±5.1 years; range, 46 to 64 years) diagnosed with hand osteoarthritis were randomized into two groups. Group 1 (n=25) was administered an ultrasound-guided superficial branch of the radial nerve injection (with a combination of 2 mL 0.25% bupivacaine and 1 mL methylprednisolone acetate) + exercise, while group 2 (n=25) only exercised. Patients were assessed with a visual analog scale for pain, hand grip strength, finger grip strength, Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire, Duruöz Hand Index and Short-form 12. Data were obtained before treatment (W0), in the second week after treatment (W2) and in the fourth week after treatment (W4).
Results: In group 1, a statistically significant improvement was obtained in all parameters at both W2 and W4 compared to the values recorded at W0 (p<0.05). In group 2, a statistically significant improvement was observed only in the parameters of hand grip strength and finger grip strength at W2 and W4 (p<0.05). A comparison of the scores of the two groups showed statistically significant superior improvement in group 1 in all parameters at both W2 and W4 (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The findings of our study showed that an ultrasound-guided superficial branch of the radial nerve block combined with exercise is a significantly superior treatment to exercise-only regarding the improvements in the parameters of pain, function and quality of life in hand osteoarthritis patients.