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|Effects of heavy slow resistance training combined with corticosteroid injections or tendon needling in patients with lateral elbow tendinopathy: a 3-arm randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled study|
|Couppe C, Dossing S, Bulow PM, Siersma VD, Zilmer CK, Bang CW, Hoffner R, Kracht M, Hogg P, Edstrom G, Kjaer M, Magnusson SP|
|The American Journal of Sports Medicine 2022 Aug;50(10):2787-2796|
|9/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: Yes; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: Yes; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*|
BACKGROUND: Lateral elbow tendinopathy is a disabling tendon overuse injury. It remains unknown if a corticosteroid injection (CSI) or tendon needling (TN) combined with heavy slow resistance (HSR) training is superior to HSR alone in treating lateral elbow tendinopathy. PURPOSE/HYPOTHESIS: The purpose was to investigate the effects of HSR combined with either (1) a CSI, (2) TN, or (3) placebo needling (PN) as treatment for lateral elbow tendinopathy. We hypothesized that 12 weeks of HSR in combination with a CSI or TN would have superior effects compared with PN at 12, 26, and 52 (primary endpoint) weeks' follow-up on primary (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score) and secondary outcomes in patients with chronic unilateral lateral elbow tendinopathy. STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1. METHODS: A total of 60 patients with chronic unilateral lateral elbow tendinopathy were randomized to perform 12 weeks of home-based HSR with elastic band exercises combined with either (1) a CSI, (2) TN, or (3) PN, and at 12, 26, and 52 weeks, we assessed the primary outcome, the DASH score, and secondary outcomes: shortened version of the DASH (QuickDASH) score, pain (numerical rating scale (NRS) score), pain-free grip strength, and hypervascularization (power Doppler area). RESULTS: A CSI, TN, and PN improved patient outcomes equally based on the DASH (DELTA20 points), QuickDASH (DELTA21 points), and NRS (DELTA2.5 points) scores after 12 weeks. Further, after 12 weeks, a CSI also resulted in decreased hypervascularization (power Doppler area) compared with PN (DELTA-2251 pixels, p = 0.0418). Except for the QuickDASH score (CSI increased score by DELTA15 points compared with PN; p = 0.0427), there were no differences between the groups after 52 weeks. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that 12 weeks of HSR improved symptoms in both the short and the long term and that a CSI or TN did not amplify this effect. In addition, a CSI seemed to impair patient-reported outcomes compared with HSR alone at long-term follow-up. REGISTRATION: NCT02521298 ClinicalTrials.gov.