Is physical therapy better than surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome?

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EVIDENCE-BASED ANSWERNo, the treatments are likely to have equivalent outcomes. Physical therapy (PT) yields less pain at 1 and 3 months than surgery, but this difference disappears by 6 months. Surgery leads to improvement in some measures of function and symptom severity at 12 months, but the differences are likely not clinically significant (SOR: B, 2 RCTs with inconsistent conclusions).

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