Doctors are studying the effects of surgery on people with a tennis elbow
The disease called tennis elbow (or tennis elbow) describes a painful disease of the tendon attachment tissue in the area of the elbow. Researchers have now found that surgical methods to treat this condition do not offer additional benefits to patients.
The scientists of the Orthopedic Research Institute in Sydney found in an investigation that surgical interventions with a so-called tennis arm are usually without the desired effect. The doctors published the results of their study at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Specialty Day in San Diego.
Researchers operate on 26 subjects and investigate the effects
The current randomized study examined patient responses to surgery to treat tennis elbows compared to the results of placebo treatment. The study analyzed 13 patients who were operated on to remove a degenerated part of their so-called extensor capri radialis brevis (ECRB), the experts explain. For comparison, an incision was made over the lateral elbow in 13 test subjects, but no further repair of the ECRB was carried out.
All participants had suffered from a tennis elbow for at least six months
The participating subjects had suffered from the symptoms of a tennis elbow for more than six months. In addition, the participants had tried at least two non-surgical treatment approaches such as physiotherapy, massage, acupuncture or splinting during this period, the doctors explain.
Placebo treatment shows the same results
The data obtained during the study show that both groups experienced a significant improvement in pain relief within a period of 26 weeks after surgery. This included, for example, the frequency of pain during activity, says author Martin Kroslak from the Orthopedic Research Institute in Sydney. In addition, these results were consistent or even improved within the next one to four years of the follow-up. There was no significant difference at any time between the two groups of subjects, the expert added.
Subjects had to fill out questionnaires about their health problems
The study participants were asked to complete questionnaires related to symptoms including pain rate and severity of activity and sleep. The pain rate during sleep and difficulty picking up objects or pain during rotating movements were particularly interesting, the scientists explain.
What treatment did the participants receive after their surgery?
Both groups were treated with the same rehab within two weeks of surgery, including ice cream application, stretching, and a strengthening rehab program, the doctors explain.
Effective treatment of a tennis elbow is a major challenge
The treatment of so-called chronic tennis elbows is a major challenge, explains author Kroslak. Our research shows the challenges of setting up a treatment plan for these patients and continuing to develop surgical and non-surgical approaches, the physician adds. (as)