Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is a frequent elbow condition with an incidence of 1-3% among the general population. It consists of a chronic tendinosis produced, in most cases, by the overuse of the forearm extending muscles. It is related to manual work or sport activities, and so has a clear occupational profile.
Its diagnosis is mostly clinical and its treatment is initially conservative. It usually has a long duration (6-9 months), is frequently self-limited, and is a common cause of sick leave, incurring considerable expense.
Regarding its etiopathogeny, lateral epicondylitis is caused by degenerative changes and non-accute inflammation, which are only present at very early stages of the illness. It is a degenerative tendinopathy, with degeneration of collagen tissue called angiofibroblastic tendinosis of the extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon and, at a lesser rate, of the common extensor of the fingers.
The use of pulsed radiofrequency on the nerves innervating the epicondyle is effective in the middle and long term. The reduction in pain helped the recovery of strength, and these improvements contributed to an earlier return to work among patients on sick leave.
Maite Bovaira Forner, Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis with Pulsed Radiofrequency: Comparative Study of Two Procedures
Last date updated on June, 2014