Surgery may not offer additional benefit to tennis elbow patients

Surgery may not offer additional benefit to tennis elbow patients

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 19 : Tennis elbow sufferers, if the idea of going under the knife is terrifying, then you can opt for non-operative approaches as a recent study has suggested that surgery may not offer additional benefit.

The study, a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial, explored patient responses to a common surgery aimed at repairing a damaged elbow, compared to a placebo procedure.

The study analyzed 13 patients who underwent surgery to remove a degenerated portion of their extensor capri radialis brevis (ECRB), compared to a group of 13 who received an incision over their lateral elbow and no further repair. Patients included had experienced symptoms of tennis elbow for more than 6 months, and attempted at least two non-surgical treatment approaches such as physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, or splinting/bracing, but had no symptom relief over that period.

"Our data shows both groups experienced significant improvements in pain measures by 26 weeks after surgery, including frequency of pain with activity," commented lead author Martin Kroslak from the Orthopaedic Research Institute in Sydney, Australia. "Further, these results were consistent or improved after 1-4 years of follow-up, with no significant difference between the two groups at any point."

"Managing chronic tennis elbow is a challenge for a large portion of the active population," noted Kroslak. "Our research demonstrates the challenges in outlining a treatment plan for these patients, and the continued work to be done in developing both surgical and non-operative approaches."

The study appears in the journal American Journal of Sports Medicine. (ANI)

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