OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of prolotherapy on lateral epicondylitis, and the difference of treatment effect according to the findings of ultrasonography.
METHOD: The subjects were 84 patients who were diagnosed as lateral epicondylitis. The pain score was evaluated by using VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) before treatment and 1 month and 6 months after the 3rd injection. Ultrasonography was done to 49 patients who were suspicious of tendinous tear.
RESULTS: In the comparison of the VAS before treatment and after the 3rd injection, it was 6.79+/-0.88, 2.95+/-1.90, respectively, which demonstrated statistical significant decrease (p<0.01). We found more significant reduction of VAS in the subjects without tendinous tear (7.08+/-0.91 to 2.16+/-1.57) than those with partial tendinous tear (6.90+/-0.93 to 3.67+/-1.76) (p<0.01). Among 71 patients whose symptom was improved after the treatment, 57 patients (80.2%) demonstrated sustained improvement at 9 months and 14 patients (19.7%) relapsed at 9 months.
CONCLUSION: Prolotherapy is an effective treatment method in the lateral epicondylitis of elbow. Ultrasonography could be a useful diagnostic method which could predict the effect of prolotherapy.