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Georgian Med News. 2013 Sep;(222):36-43.

Management of acute Achilles tendinopathy: effect of etoricoxib on pain control and leg stiffness.

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High Performance National Sports Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Tendinopathies are a major cause of disability in the athletic population; the main purpose of the treatment of these injuries is to reduce pain and improve function promptly. The objective of this randomized, active comparator controlled, blinded study was to evaluate etoricoxib efficacy in pain control and leg stiffness in athletes suffering acute unilateral Achilles tendinopathy. Fifty-six eligible male athletes (mean age 37.5 ± 11.0 y) suffering acute Achilles tendinopathy were randomized to receive either etoricoxib 120 mg oral once daily (n=28) or diclofenac 100 mg oral once daily (n=28). Pain (100-mm visual analogue scale-VAS), analgesic effect (percentage of 100-mm VAS reduction), satisfaction with pain management (PGART), and leg stiffness (LSR) were evaluated after one week of anti-inflammatory treatment. Over the 7-day treatment period, both etoricoxib and diclofenac provided significantly relief of Achilles tendon pain compared to that experienced at baseline (mean VAS 26.7 ± 2.2 and 56.4 ± 1.8, respectively; p<.001). Analgesic effect averaged 53.7 ± 38.1% (etoricoxib= 56.4% and diclofenac 50.6%, p=0.64). Patients referred high level of satisfaction with anti-inflammatory treatment (PGART = 2.0 ± 1.3), while leg stiffness showed a significant improvement after one-week therapy (LSR 0.89 ± 0.1 vs. 0.95 ± 0.1; p=0.038). PGART and LSR values within etoricoxib and diclofenac groups were not significant (p=0.46, and p=0.37, respectively). Both drugs were generally well tolerated; patients receiving etoricoxib reported significantly less side effects than those in the diclofenac group (0% and 14,2%, respectively, p=0.037). Etoricoxib is clinically effective in treatment of acute Achilles tendinopathy providing a magnitude of effect comparable to that of diclofenac with fewer side effects. Effective control of tendon pain in the acute phase of such sports-related injuries may be helpful to reduce morbidity and improve capabilities associated with high performance like leg stiffness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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