Cortisone May Help Tennis Elbow in Short Term

But effects not found to stand the test of time

FRIDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Cortisone injections may provide better short-term relief from tennis elbow than other treatments, but the results don't last beyond three to six weeks, according to research published online Oct. 22 in The Lancet.

Brooke K. Coombes, of the University of Queensland in St Lucia, Australia, and colleagues conducted a literature review and found 41 randomized trials with data on 2,672 patients to establish the efficacy and risk of adverse events associated with the treatment of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylalgia) and other tendinopathies by injection.

For tennis elbow, the researchers found that high-quality randomized controlled trials consistently showed a reduction in short-term pain with corticosteroid injections compared with other inventions, but that the effect did not hold up for intermediate and long terms. They found other, non-steroid injection options, including sodium hyaluronate, botulinum toxin, and prolotherapy, could be reasonably considered for tennis elbow and other tendinopathies.

"Despite the effectiveness of corticosteroid injections in the short term, non-corticosteroid injections might be of benefit for long-term treatment of lateral epicondylalgia. However, response to injection should not be generalized because of variation in effect between sites of tendinopathy," the authors write.

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Monica Smith

Monica Smith

Published on October 22, 2010

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