Lateral epicondylitis: a comparative study of open and arthroscopic lateral release.

Lancaster Orthopedic Group, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.
American journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.) 12/2004; 33(11):565-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In this article, we retrospectively review cases of resistant lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and compare treatment with open release versus arthroscopic release. From 1997 to 2002, 87 patients were treated: 54 with open procedures and 33 with arthroscopic procedures. Seventy-five patients were available for follow-up. Mean duration of preoperative symptoms was 16 months for open cases and 22 months for arthroscopic cases. All patients had a minimum of 6 months of conservative treatment before surgery. Results showed no significant difference in outcomes. For example, 69% of open cases and 72% of arthroscopic cases had good or excellent outcomes. Notably, patients treated with arthroscopic release returned to work earlier than patients treated with open release did, and they required less postoperative therapy.

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    ABSTRACT: Most patients diagnosed with lateral epicondylitis respond well to conservative management. For patients who do not respond to nonoperative modalities, surgical treatment represents a viable option for long-term symptomatic relief. The arthroscopic surgical technique described in this article has been consistently used by the senior author for the treatment of recalcitrant lateral epicondylitis for more than 5 years (198 patients) without the occurrence of any major complications and appears to be a safe, reliable, and efficacious surgical intervention for the management of lateral epicondylitis.
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