Introduction: Many therapeutic interventions have been used in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis (LE), but to date, no specific intervention has proved universally efficacious. The aim of this study was to compare local corticosteroid injections versus splinting in a randomized controlled design.
Material and methods: Sixteen patients were treated with injections, and fourteen with a wrist splint. The patients were evaluated at inclusion and after six weeks with grip strength and pain scores. The patient's global assessment was used as a main indicator of improvement.
Results: No differences were noticed between the two groups. Most patients improved. A questionnaire after > 1 year showed that some patients still had pain complaints.
Discussion: We conclude that injections were as effective as splinting in LE. Splinting is recommended in the early stages of the disorder because of its lack of adverse effects. In the long view diagnostics regarding LE have to be refined in order to differentiate patients who are expected to benefit from different treatments.