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Am J Sports Med. 2002 May-Jun;30(3):422-5.

Shock wave therapy for patients with lateral epicondylitis of the elbow: a one- to two-year follow-up study.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 123 Ta-Pei Road, Niao Sung Hsiang, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



The results of both nonoperative and surgical treatments for lateral epicondylitis of the elbow have been inconsistent. Shock wave therapy has been shown to have a favorable short-term effect in treating this condition.


Shock wave therapy is an effective treatment for patients with lateral epicondylitis of the elbow and long-term results will be as favorable as short-term ones.


Case series.


The effect of shock wave therapy was investigated in 57 patients with lateral epicondylitis of the elbow. Forty-three patients (24 men and 19 women with an average age of 46 years) with 1 to 2 years of follow-up were included in this study. In addition, six patients were treated with a sham procedure as a control group. Each patient was treated with 1000 impulses of shock wave therapy at 14 kV to the affected elbow. A 100-point scoring system was used for evaluating pain, function, strength, and elbow range of motion.


Twenty-seven elbows (61.4%) were free of complaints, 13 (29.5%) were significantly better, 3 (6.8%) were slightly better, and 1 (2.3%) was unchanged. In the control group, the results were unchanged in all six patients. There were no device-related problems and no systemic or local complications.


Shock wave therapy is a safe and effective modality in the treatment of patients with lateral epicondylitis of the elbow.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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