In the past, extracorporeal shock-wave therapy (ESWT) has been used increasingly as a treatment for conservatively unsuccessfully treated radiohumeral epicondylitis. However, published reviews of clinical trials on the efficacy of ESWT have led to inconsistent results and are outdated or methodologically inadequate. As a consequence, a systematic literature search was conducted which yielded 20 relevant papers that described trials on the efficacy of ESWT in the treatment of radiohumeral epicondylitis. These were rated according to biometrical criteria for the conduct of therapeutic trials. None of the rated trials fulfilled all of the criteria, and it is concluded that the efficacy of ESWT in the treatment of epidondylitis can presently be neither confirmed nor excluded.