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  1. Martin P Schwellnus
  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa

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In a short-term (8 weeks) randomised, clinical trial, a 2 ml local injection of autologous blood was more effective in reducing pain and improving function than the corticosteroid injection from chronic lateral epicondylopathy (‘tennis’ elbow)

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A number of treatment modalities have been suggested for the management of chronic lateral epicondylopathy (‘tennis’ elbow).

Research question/s

Does a local autologous blood injection improve pain and function more than a local corticosteroid injection in patients with lateral elbow tendinopathy?


Subjects 60 patients with lateral epicondylopathy (‘tennis’ elbow) (27–64 years).

Experimental procedure All the subjects were assessed (pain (VAS-severity in last 24 h; pain and strength in maximum grip; pressure pain threshold), disability (arm, shoulder, and hand quick questionnaire – Quick DASH scores; modified Nirschl scores)) and then randomised to either injection with either methylprednisolone (CORT group=30; male=4, 20 mg and 1 ml lidocaine) or autologous blood group (AB group=30; male=7; 2 ml blood and 1 ml lidocaine). Re-assessment were conducted at 4 and 8 weeks postinjection.

Measures of outcome Pain, DASH score, Nirschl score, muscle strength and pressure pain threshold.

Main finding/s

4 weeks There was a significantly greater improvement in pain (p=0.001), pain in grip (p=0.002), pressure pain threshold (p=0.031), and Quick DASH questionnaire score (p=0.004) in the AB compared with the CORT group.

8 weeks There was a significantly greater improvement of outcome measures in the AB compared with the CRT group (all p values <0.001).


In a short-term (8 weeks) randomised, …

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  • Competing interests Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.