Research Article

Is therapeutic ultrasound effective in treating soft tissue lesions?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.290.6467.512 (Published 16 February 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:512
  1. A Binder,
  2. G Hodge,
  3. A M Greenwood,
  4. B L Hazleman,
  5. D P Page Thomas

    Abstract

    Of 76 patients with lateral epicondylitis, 38 were randomly allocated to receive ultrasound treatment and 38 placebo. All 76 were given 12 treatments each over four to six weeks. The conditions of 24 patients (63%) treated with ultrasound and 11 (29%) given placebo improved, the difference being significant at the 1% level. Improvement in particular clinical variables (pain score, weight lifting, grip strength) also showed an advantage for the patients given ultrasound treatment. A simple underwater radiation balance showed considerable fluctuation in ultrasonic output, and frequent checks of output were shown to be necessary. Ultrasound enhances recovery in most patients with lateral epicondylitis.