Arthroscopic classification and treatment of lateral epicondylitis: two-year clinical results

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2000 Nov-Dec;9(6):475-82. doi: 10.1067/mse.2000.108533.


We assessed the clinical utility of 42 arthroscopic releases for lateral epicondylitis in 40 patients (average age, 43 years) with an average of 14 months of symptomatic history before surgery. At arthroscopy, we found 15 type I lesions (intact capsule), 15 type II lesions (linear capsular tear), and 12 type III lesions (complete capsular tear), and associated disorders were found in 69% of the patients. At an average follow-up of 2.8 years, patients were asked to report on elbow pain and function. Subjectively, the patients rated their pain at rest as an average of 0.9 (0 = no pain; 10 = severe pain). They rated their pain with activities of daily living as 1.4 and their pain with sports and work as 1.9. Functionally, they averaged 11.1 of 12 possible points. Of the 39 elbows in the 37 patients who were available for follow-up, 37 were rated "better" or "much better." Patients returned to work in an average of 2.2 weeks. Grip strength averaged 96% of the strength of the unaffected limb. Arthroscopic tennis elbow release is a reliable treatment that allows patients an expedited return to work and may result in greater postsurgical grip strength.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Joint Capsule / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Tennis Elbow / classification
  • Tennis Elbow / pathology
  • Tennis Elbow / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome