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Short-term Results of Transcatheter Arterial Embolization for Chronic Medial Epicondylitis Refractory to Conservative Treatment: A Single-Center Retrospective Cohort Study.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) for chronic medial epicondylitis (ME) refractory to conservative treatments.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study included ten patients (14 procedures) who underwent TAE between May of 2018 and April of 2020 to treat chronic ME refractory to conservative treatments for at least 3 months. Imipenem/cilastatin sodium was used in 12 procedures, and quick-soluble gelatin sponge particles were used in the ensuing two procedures as an embolic agent. The visual analogue scale (VAS, 0-10) score and Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (Quick-DASH) scores were assessed at baseline and at different post-treatment times (1 day; 1 week; 1, 3, and 6 months; and an open period). The clinical success of the procedure was defined as a decrease of more than 70% in the Quick-DASH scores at 6 months compared to the baseline.

RESULTS: Clinical success was achieved in 12 of 14 procedures (85.7%). No major complications were observed during the follow-up periods. The mean VAS scores were significantly decreased at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months (7.6 at baseline vs. 3.6, 3.6, 3.6, 3, and 0.9 after treatment; all P < .01). The mean Quick-DASH scores at baseline decreased significantly at 1 day, 1 week, and at 1, 3, and 6 months after treatment (71.9 vs. 48.5, 44, 37.7, 30.2, and 8.4; all P < .01). These improvements endured in nine patients for up to 12 months after treatment.

CONCLUSION: TAE effectively and safely relieved pain and promoted functional recovery in chronic ME patients refractory to conservative treatments. TAE may be a feasible treatment option for patients with ME intractable to conservative treatments.

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