Pragmatic randomised controlled trial of local corticosteroid injection and naproxen for treatment of lateral epicondylitis of elbow in primary care.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical effectiveness of local corticosteroid injection, standard non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and simple analgesics for the early treatment of lateral epicondylitis in primary care. DESIGN: Multicentre pragmatic randomised controlled trial. SETTING: 23 general practices in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. PARTICIPANTS: 164 patients aged 18-70 years presenting with a new episode of lateral epicondylitis. INTERVENTIONS: Local injection of 20 mg methylprednisolone plus lignocaine, naproxen 500 mg twice daily for two weeks, or placebo tablets. All participants received a standard advice sheet and co-codamol as required. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants' global assessment of improvement (five point scale) at four weeks. Pain, function, and "main complaint" measured on 10 point Likert scales at 4 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months. RESULTS: Over 2 years, 53 subjects were randomised to injection, 53 to naproxen, and 58 to placebo. Prognostic variables were similar between groups at baseline. At 4 weeks, 48 patients (92%) in the injection group were completely better or improved compared with 30 (57%) in the naproxen group (P<0.001) and 28 (50%) in the placebo group (P<0.001). At 12 months, 43 patients (84%) in the injection group had pain scores 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Early local corticosteroid injection is effective for lateral epicondylitis. Outcome at one year was good in all groups, and effective early treatment does not seem to influence this. (+info)
Extensor carpi radialis brevis. An anatomical analysis of its origin.
We studied the origin of extensor carpi radialis brevis using 40 fresh frozen human cadaver specimens. Ten were stained with haematoxylin and eosin and trichrome which showed the collagenous structure of the extensor tendons at their origin. Gross anatomical observation showed that there was no definitive separation between brevis and communis at the osseotendinous junction. The histological findings confirmed the lack of separation between the two tendons. The extensor tendons were in close proximity to the joint capsule but trichrome staining showed no interdigitation of the tendon with the capsule. The validity of ascribing the pain of lateral epicondylitis to extensor carpi radialis brevis must be questioned. It appears to arise more from the 'common extensor' origin. (+info)
Novel use of laser Doppler imaging for investigating epicondylitis.
OBJECTIVE: This investigation evaluated a novel form of tissue perfusion measurement, laser Doppler imaging (LDI), in a case of lateral epicondylitis to establish if it might have applications in assessing soft tissue lesions. LDI was used in conjunction with ultrasonography to provide information about tissue oedema as well as the power Doppler signal as an alternative method of assessing blood flow. METHODS: A laser Doppler imager with a near-infrared (NIR) laser source was used to improve tissue penetration and yield measurements of perfusion (flux) from structures under the skin. Skin temperature over the lateral epicondylar region was also measured. Ultrasonography was used in both grey-scale and power Doppler modes. LDI, temperature measurements and ultrasonographic data were obtained before treatment and serially after local injection of methylprednisolone. RESULTS: Before treatment there was increased perfusion and skin temperature and the presence of a power Doppler sign associated with the right lateral epicondyle as well as oedema at the extensor origin. None of these was present at the asymptomatic contralateral epicondylar region. Twenty-four hours after methylprednisolone administration, both perfusion and skin temperature had increased, and they declined over the subsequent 48 h. Although skin temperature had declined to normal (referenced to the contralateral epicondyle) by the third day after injection, it took until the eleventh day after injection for perfusion to normalize. CONCLUSIONS: LDI using an NIR laser source appears to be an effective non-invasive method for the examination of inflammatory responses in soft tissue, with greater sensitivity than thermally based methods. In addition, LDI was found to correlate with power Doppler ultrasonography. (+info)
Nirschl tennis elbow release with or without drilling.
Nirschl release appears to be a very successful technique for surgically suitable cases of tennis elbow. However, although the drilling or decortication aspect of the procedure was thought to be of benefit to the immediate outcome, this has not actually been confirmed. This randomised double blind comparative prospective trial shows that drilling confers no benefit and actually causes more pain, stiffness, and wound bleeding than not drilling. (+info)
Elbow injuries in golf.
Golf is not a sport known for its high injury level; however, injuries do occur. Such mishaps usually involve overuse-type injuries that are more common among amateur golfers than among professional golfers. This article attempts to provide an overview of golf injuries to the elbow, with a concentration on incidence, proper diagnosis, adequate treatment (including rehabilitation), and prevention strategies. After reading this article, primary care physicians should be able to manage most golfing injuries to the elbow. (+info)
Lateral epicondylitis in a hospital phlebotomist--an ergonomic solution.
This report outlines a case of lateral epicondylitis in a hospital phlebotomist thought to be due to the forceful gripping, and repetitive twisting, involved in breaking the seals on green vacutainer needles. An ergonomic solution in the form of a device to aid breaking of the vacutainer seals is presented. The importance of seeking ergonomic solutions with manufacturers is highlighted. (+info)
Orthotic devices for tennis elbow: a systematic review.
Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is af requently reported condition. A wide variety of treatment strategies has been described. Asy et, no optimal strategy has been identified. The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of orthotic devices for treatment of tennis elbow. An electronic database search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register Current Contents, and reference listsf rom all retrieved articles. Experts on the subjects were approachedfor additional trials. All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) descrbiing individuals with diagnosed lateral epicondylitis and assessing the use of an orthotic device as a treatment strategy were evaluatedfor inclusion. Two reviewers independently assessed the validity of the included trials and extracted data on relevant outcome measures. Dichotomous outcomes were expressed as relative risks and continuous outcomes as standardised mean differences, both with corresponding 95% confidence intervals. Statistical pooling and subgroup analyses were intended. Five small-size RCTs (n = 7-49 per group) were included the validity score ranged from three to nine positive items out of 11. Subgroup analyses were not performed owing to the small number of trials. The limited number of included trials present few outcome measures and limited long-term results. Pooling was not possible owing to the high level of heterogeneity of the trials. No definitive conclusions can be drawn concerning effectiveness of orthotic devices for lateral epicondylitis. More well-designed and well-conducted RCTs of sufficient power are warranted. (+info)
Acupuncture in chronic epicondylitis: a randomized controlled trial.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic lateral epicondylitis. METHODS: In a randomized, investigator- and patient-blinded, controlled clinical study, 23 patients were treated with real acupuncture and 22 patients received sham acupuncture. Patients each received 10 treatments, with two treatments per week. The primary outcome variables were maximal strength, pain intensity (verbal rating scale) and disability scale (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire). Patients were examined at baseline (1 week before the start of treatment) and at follow-up 2 weeks and 2 months after the end of treatment. RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the groups at baseline for any outcome parameter. Two weeks and 2 months after the end of treatment, there were significant reductions in pain intensity and improvements in the function of the arm and in maximal strength in both treatment groups. At the 2-week follow-up these differences were significantly greater for all outcome parameters in the group treated with real acupuncture. At 2 months the function of the arm was still better in this group than in the sham acupuncture group; however, the differences in pain intensity and maximal strength between the groups were no longer significant. CONCLUSION: In the treatment of chronic epicondylopathia lateralis humeri, acupuncture in which real acupuncture points were selected and stimulated was superior to non-specific acupuncture with respect to reduction in pain and improvement in the functioning of the arm. These changes are particularly marked at early follow-up. (+info)