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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2012 Feb;51(2):305-10. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ker228. Epub 2011 Oct 22.

Occupation and epicondylitis: a population-based study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK. k.walker-bone@bsms.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the relationship between occupational exposures and lateral and medial epicondylitis, and the effect of epicondylitis on sickness absence in a population sample of working-aged adults.

METHODS:

This was a cross-sectional study of 9696 randomly selected adults aged 25-64 years involving a screening questionnaire and standardized physical examination. Age- and sex-specific prevalence rates of epicondylitis were estimated and associations with occupational risk factors explored.

RESULTS:

Among 6038 respondents, 636 (11%) reported elbow pain in the last week. Of those surveyed, 0.7% were diagnosed with lateral epicondylitis and 0.6% with medial epicondylitis. Lateral epicondylitis was associated with manual work [odds ratio (OR) 4.0, 95% CI 1.9, 8.4]. In multivariate analyses, repetitive bending/straightening elbow >1 h day was independently associated with lateral (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.2, 5.5) and medial epicondylitis (OR 5.1, 95% CI 1.8, 14.3). Five per cent of adults with epicondylitis took sickness absence because of their elbow symptoms in the past 12 months (median 29 days).

CONCLUSION:

Repetitive exposure to bending/straightening the elbow was a significant risk factor for medial and lateral epicondylitis. Epicondylitis is associated with prolonged sickness absence in 5% of affected working-aged adults.

PMID:
22019808
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3427015
Free PMC Article
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