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Physiotherapy or a wait and see policy were the best options for lateral epicondylitis at 1 year

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 QUESTION: In patients with lateral epicondylitis, what is the effectiveness of a wait and see policy, physiotherapy, or corticosteroid injections?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (outcome assessors),* controlled trial with 1 year of follow up.


Practices of 85 family doctors in the Netherlands.


185 patients who were 18 to 70 years of age (median age 47 y) with pain at the lateral side of the elbow that increased with pressure on the lateral epicondyle and with resisted dorsiflexion of the wrist. Exclusion criteria included physiotherapy or corticosteroid injections for elbow pain in the previous 6 months; bilateral elbow symptoms; duration of pain for <6 weeks; dislocation, tendon ruptures, or fractures …

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  • Sources of funding: Health Insurance Council; the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

  • For correspondence: Dr N Smidt, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands. n.smidt.emgo{at}

  • * See glossary.