Radiofrequency Microtenotomy for Elbow Epicondylitis: Midterm Results

James P Tasto, John M Richmond, Jeffrey R Cummings, Renee Hardesty, David Amiel
American Journal of Orthopedics 2016, 45 (1): 29-33
We conducted a prospective, nonrandomized, single-center clinical study to evaluate the safety and midterm effectiveness of microtenotomy using a radiofrequency probe to treat chronic tendinosis of the elbow. All patients had failed conservative treatment for 6 months. The radiofrequency-based microtenotomy was performed using the Topaz Microdebrider (ArthroCare). Patients were followed annually for up to 9 years postoperatively. Pain status was documented using a visual analog scale self-reported measure. Eighty consecutive patients with tendinosis of the elbow were enrolled; 69 patients were treated for lateral epicondylitis and 11 for medial epicondylitis. The duration of follow-up ranged from 6 months to 9 years (mean, 2.5 years). Ninety-one percent of the patients reported a successful outcome. Within the lateral epicondylitis group, the preoperative visual analog scale improved from 6.9 to 1.3 postoperatively and demonstrated an 81% improvement (P ≤ .01). For the medial epicondylitis patients, the preoperative visual analog scale improved from 6.1 to 1.3 after surgery, a 79% improvement (P ≤ .01). No complications were reported. Radiofrequency-based microtenotomy is a safe and effective procedure for elbow epicondylitis. The results are durable with successful outcomes observed at 9 years after surgery.

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