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Evid Based Med 12:39 doi:10.1136/ebm.12.2.39
  • Therapeutics

Corticosteroid injections or physiotherapy were not more effective than wait and see for tennis elbow at 1 year


 
 Q In patients with tennis elbow, what is the relative efficacy of corticosteroid injection, physiotherapy, and wait and see?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Physical medicine & rehabilitation ★★★★★★★ Rheumatology ★★★★★★★

METHODS

GraphicDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

GraphicAllocation:

concealed.*

GraphicBlinding:

blinded (data collectors, outcome assessors, and data analysts).*

GraphicFollow up period:

52 weeks.

GraphicSetting:

community setting in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

GraphicPatients:

198 patients 18–65 years of age (mean age 48 y, 65% men) with symptoms of tennis elbow lasting ⩾6 weeks. Exclusion criteria included bilateral elbow symptoms, elbow surgery or injury, and nerve involvement.

GraphicIntervention:

corticosteroid injection delivered to painful elbow points (with a second injection 2 wk later, if necessary) (n = 65); physiotherapy consisting of elbow manipulation and therapeutic exercise (8 treatments over 6 wk, plus home exercises) (n = 66); or wait and see (advice to avoid aggravating …