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Comparison of efficacy of ultrasound-guided platelet rich plasma injection versus dry needling in lateral epicondylitis-a randomised controlled trial

J Ultrasound. 2024 Feb 23. doi: 10.1007/s40477-023-00846-9. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To assess whether Ultrasound guided dry needling is adequate for both common extensor tendon tears and tendinosis or whether ultrasound guided platelet rich plasma (PRP) has a superior outcome when compared to dry needling when there are tears of the common extensor tendon.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a single-centre, single-blinded, randomised controlled trial conducted between November 2018 and April 2020. 40 patients diagnosed with lateral epicondylitis based on clinical and sonographic features and having comparable baseline characteristics were randomly assigned to the two study groups (dry needling and PRP). Inclusion criteria were patients aged 20 years or more who were symptomatic for at least 3 months with sonographic evidence of lateral epicondylitis. Exclusion criteria were complete tear of common extensor tendon confirmed on ultrasound and presence of other associated diseases like osteoarthritis of shoulder and elbow.

RESULTS: There was significant improvement in the visual analogue scale pain score in PRP group compared to the dry needling group at 9 months. However, this difference was not evident at 3 and 6 months follow-up. Mean improvement in common extensor tendon thickness in PRP group (5.1 mm at 3 months and 4.3 mm at 6 months) was slightly better than dry needling (4.4 mm at 3 months and 4.0 mm at 6 months). There was no difference in tear (if present) healing between both groups at 3 months. However at 6 months follow up, PRP demonstrated significant (mean-2.5) healing in tear compared to dry needling (mean-3.1).

CONCLUSION: Two injections of Ultrasound guided PRP are more beneficial non operative treatment compared to ultrasound guided dry needling, in lateral epicondylitis.

PMID:38393452 | DOI:10.1007/s40477-023-00846-9


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