Clinical Review Extracts from Concise Clinical Evidence

Tennis elbow

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7410.329 (Published 07 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:329
  1. Willem Assendelft, head of department of guideline development and research policy (p.assendelft@nhg-nl.org)1,
  2. Sally Green, senior lecturer2,
  3. Rachelle Buchbinder, senior lecturer2,
  4. Peter Struijs, resident in orthopaedic surgery3,
  5. Nynke Smidt, senior researcher4
  1. 1Dutch College of General Practitioners, Utrecht, Netherlands
  2. 2 Institute of Health Services Research, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  3. 3Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  4. 4Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Amsterdam
  1. Correspondence to: W Assendelft

    Introduction

    Definition

    Tennis elbow has many analogous terms, including lateral elbow pain, lateral epicondylitis, rowing elbow, tendonitis of the common extensor origin, and peritendonitis of the elbow. Tennis elbow is characterised by pain and tenderness over the lateral epicondyle of the humerus and pain on resisted dorsiflexion of the wrist, middle finger, or both. For the purposes of this review, tennis elbow was restricted to lateral elbow pain or lateral epicondylitis.

    What are the effects of treatments for tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)?

    Beneficial

    Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for short term pain relief

    One systematic review has found that topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs versus placebo significantly improve pain in the short term. …

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