Medial epicondylitis in occupational settings: prevalence, incidence and associated risk factors

J Occup Environ Med. 2003 Sep;45(9):993-1001. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000085888.37273.d9.


Because medial epicondylitis has not been studied alone, we investigated its links between personal and occupational factors in repetitive work and its course. A total of 1757 workers were examined by an occupational health physician in 1993-1994. Five hundred ninety-eight of them were reexamined 3 years later. Prevalence was between 4% and 5%, with an annual incidence estimate at 1.5%. Forceful work was a risk factor (odds ratio [OR], 1.95; confidence interval [CI] = 1.15-3.32), but not exposure to repetitive work (OR, 1.11; CI = 0.59-2.10). Workers with medial epicondylitis had a significantly higher prevalence of other work-related upper-limb musculoskeletal disorders (WRMD). Risk factors differed for medial and lateral epicondylitis. The prognosis for medial epicondylitis in this population was good with a 3-year recovery rate at 81%. Medial epicondylitis was clearly associated with forceful work and other upper-limb WRMD, and its prognosis was good.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Health*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prevalence
  • Probability
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tennis Elbow / diagnosis
  • Tennis Elbow / epidemiology*
  • Tennis Elbow / etiology