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Comparison of extracorporeal shock-wave therapy and wrist-extensor splint application in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis: a prospective randomized controlled study

Authors Aydın A, Atiç R

Received 26 February 2018

Accepted for publication 24 June 2018

Published 2 August 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 1459—1467


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Abdulkadir Aydın,1 Ramazan Atiç2

1Prosthetics and Orthotics Department, Dicle University Medical School, Diyarbakir, Turkey; 2Orthopedics and Traumatology Department, Dicle University Medical School, Diyarbakır, Turkey

Background: Extracorporeal shock-wave therapy (ESWT) and wrist-extensor splints (WESs) are two commonly used methods in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis. In this study, the efficacy of these two methods was compared.
Methods: The study was planned as a prospective randomized controlled study. A total of 67 patients were enrolled. The patients were divided into two groups: group 1 received ESWT (32 patients) and group 2 received WES (35 patients). Patients in group 1 underwent four sessions of ESWT once every week. In each session, an ESWT device at 10–12 Hz, 2,000 pulses, and 1.6–1.8 bar pressure was used. Patients in group 2 used a wrist splint, holding the wrist at 30°–45° extension for 4 weeks. Patients were assessed for handgrip strength, pain at rest, pain while working, and quality of life. Data were collected before and after treatment (at weeks 4, 12, and 24). A visual analog scale was used to evaluate pain at rest and while working, a hand dynamometer for handgrip strength, subscales of the SF36 Health Survey to evaluate quality of life, and the Turkish version of the patient-rated tennis-elbow evaluation was used to evaluate functioning of the affected arm during various daily life activities.
Results: In both ESWT and WES groups, although there were considerably significant improvements (P<0.001) in the parameters evaluated (pain at rest and while working, handgrip strength, Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation, Nirschl score, and SF36 subscales) were observed at 4, 12, and 24 weeks compared to pretreatment values, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of our evaluation parameters at the three time points (P>0.05).
Conclusion: Both ESWT and WES applications were found to yield significantly superior results when compared to pretreatment values. In comparison of the two groups, on the other hand, there was no statistically significant difference.

Keywords: Lateral epicondylitis, elbow pain, shockwave therapy, orthosis, quality of life

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