JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Conservative and surgical treatment of tennis elbow: a study of outcome.

BACKGROUND: Tennis elbow is one of the most common lesions of the arm. The first description is attributed to Runge in 1873 but the name derives from 'Lawn Tennis Arm' described by Morris in 1882. The majority of cases are believed to be caused by a musculo-tendinous lesion of the common extensor origin at or near the attachment to the lateral epicondyle. While there are some comprehensive reports in the literature of patients treated by one technique or another, there are no comprehensive reports of groups of patients for whom various techniques were employed in a logical sequence until a resolution was reached.

METHODS: This paper presents a retrospective analysis of case notes and an analysis of questionnaires completed by the patients.

RESULTS: In this study we found that 67% of patients who presented with tennis elbow received relief through steroid injections either alone or in combination with a tennis elbow band or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The use of either a tennis elbow band or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or injected steroids made no statistical difference to the outcome.

CONCLUSIONS: We also found that the patients who did not respond adequately to conservative measures were relieved of their symptoms by surgery.

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