Safety and efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for chronic lateral epicondylitis

John P Furia
American Journal of Orthopedics 2005, 34 (1): 13-9; discussion 19
Efficacy and safety of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) were investigated in 36 patients with chronic lateral epicondylitis--9 patients receiving and 27 patients not receiving worker's compensation. All patients were treated with a single application of 3200 shock waves. Twelve weeks after treatment, the mean visual analog scale score for the entire group improved from 8.0 to 2.5 (P < .05), and the mean RAND 36-Item Health Survey (Physical Functioning) score improved from 65.6 to 88.0 (P < .05). Outcomes for 28 elbows (77.8%) were rated excellent or good on the Roles and Maudsley scale. There were no significant differences in outcome measures among the subgroups. There were no significant complications. ESWT is an effective treatment for chronic lateral epicondylitis. Worker's compensation status did not affect outcomes.

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