The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a treatment regime utilised for lateral epicondylitis that is designed to expedite return to activity and to identify variables related to treatment outcomes. Patients treated in a sports medicine clinic between 1978 and 1980 received, by mail, a brief questionnaire investigating the variables of the injuries and level of success of the treatment. Specific techniques ensured confidentiality and validation of information. Through the analyses conducted, an inverse relationship in the total group between the level of success and the duration of pain was documented; for example, the mean durations of pain, 17.3 months, 10.3 months, and 6.3 months correlated, respectively, with the levels of success, 0 (no recovery), 2 (moderate recovery), and 4 (complete recovery). In addition, the application of multiple risk factor analysis, incorporating a maximum of eight variables, identified the degree of pain prior to treatment as the most important predictor of complete recovery; the greater the pain the more likely the complete success of the treatments. The implications of these findings include a need for early case-finding to elicit the most favourable outcomes of the treatment regime studied.
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