Tennis elbow is a common condition with unpromising several modalities of treatment. Many of these are not aimed at treating the disease process. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains biological healing factors and shows promising results in tendinopathies.
In this study, our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of autologous PRP vs steroid injection in the treatment of chronic recalcitrant lateral epicondylitis.
Materials and methods
A prospective randomized control trial was conducted in our tertiary care hospital. Sixty patients with chronic lateral humeral epicondylitis, not responding to oral medications, tennis elbow belt, and physiotherapy, aged between 18 and 60 years were included in the study. Patients were randomized into PRP or steroid injection group based on a computer-generated block randomization chart. All patients had a baseline assessment including visual analog pain scores, Disability assessment of Shoulder and Hand score (DASH), and Nirschl (Injury, Prevention, Cure and Care – Nirschl Pain Phase Scale of Athletic Overuse Injuries) scores, and the same was repeated at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months postintervention.
Steroid treatment shows better outcome in short-term (p < 0.001) and PRP shows better outcome in long-term (p < 0.001) follow-up. All three scores – visual analog score (VAS), DASH, Nirschl – showed significant linear improvement with PRP treatment, whereas with steroid injection initially there was significant improvement up to 3 months and later recurrence of symptoms. No complications were noted with PRP injection.
Use of autologous PRP injections for the management of lateral epicondylitis has better long-term outcomes compared with steroid injection in terms of VAS, DASH, and Nirschl scores. Also in our trial we had no recurrence of symptoms in the PRP group, whereas pain recurred in six patients in steroid group and was treated successfully with PRP.
How to cite this article
Chowdry M, Gopinath KM, Kumar BNR, Kanmani TR. Comparative Study of Efficacy between Platelet-rich Plasma vs Corticosteroid Injection in the Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis. J Med Sci 2017;3(1):1-5.