Image-Guided Intervention May Ease Pain of Severe Tennis Elbow

Transcatheter arterial embolization may reduce pain, inflammation in persistent lateral epicondylitis

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE), an image-guided, nonsurgical treatment, decreases abnormal blood flow to the injured area in patients with lateral epicondylitis that has failed to improve with conservative treatments, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology, held from March 23 to 28 in Austin, Texas.

Yuji Okuno, M.D., Ph.D., and Masahiko Shibuya, M.D., Ph.D., both from the Okuno Clinic in Tokyo, evaluated the safety and efficacy of TAE in 52 patients with lateral epicondylitis that had been resistant to conservative treatments for more than three months. Patients reported symptom duration greater than six months with moderate-to-severe pain. Forty-eight patients were followed for up to four years after the procedure.

Abnormal vessels were identified in all of the patients, and no major adverse events were reported. The researchers observed a significant decrease in Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scores from baseline to one, three, six, and 24 months after treatment. A statistically significant improvement was noted in all clinical parameters, including numerous pain rating scale scores, Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation scores, and pain-free grip strength, from baseline to the end of follow-up. Two years after TAE, magnetic resonance images were obtained in 32 patients and showed an improvement in tendinosis and tear scores compared with baseline.

"We were interested to see if this technique, already in use in other areas of the body, would be effective for this common, debilitating condition and help people immediately regain a range of motion that many of us take for granted in our everyday tasks," Okuno said in a statement.

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