Abstract

Background

Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is the most common elbow pain in the adult age group.

Purpose

To evaluate common extensor tendon (CET) vascularity with superb microvascular imaging (SMI) before and after extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) and ultrasound (US) treatment in patients with lateral epycondylitis and to compare the effects of two different treatments on tendon vascularity.

Material and Methods

Patients with lateral epycondylitis were divided into two groups; 30 patients were treated with ESWT (group 1) and 30 patients were treated with therapeutic US (group 2). We performed a high-frequency (14-MHz) linear array transducer to evaluate tendon anatomy and vascularity before and after treatment in both groups.

Results

The decrease in Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation (PRTEE) score after treatment was statistically significant compared to pre-treatment for both groups (P < 0.001). Likewise, the decrease in visual analog scale (VAS) score after treatment was statistically significant compared to pre-treatment for both groups (P < 0.001). A significant difference was found between the CET SMI values of group 1 and group 2 after treatment, according to the chi-square test (P < 0.001). In the post-treatment VAS and PRTEE comparison of both groups, the score reduction in group 1 was higher than in group 2, and this decrease was statistically significant (P < 0.001).

Conclusion

We can evaluate CET vascularization with the SMI method as a new potential diagnostic tool in comparing the effectiveness of different treatments in cases of lateral epicondylitis.

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