Platelet-rich plasma versus Tenex in the treatment of medial and lateral epicondylitis

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2019 Jan;28(1):112-119. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2018.08.032.


Background: Medial epicondylitis and lateral epicondylitis are among the most common elbow pathologies affecting people aged between 40 and 50 years. Although epicondylitis is often a self-limiting condition that improves with conservative treatment, the condition can be difficult to eradicate. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and ultrasound-guided percutaneous tenotomy (Tenex) for the treatment of medial or lateral epicondylitis. Our hypothesis was that the Tenex procedure would not be inferior to PRP injections in the treatment of medial or lateral epicondylitis.

Methods: In this retrospective review, 62 of 75 patients were available for contact via phone and e-mail to complete post-procedure patient-reported outcome surveys. Subjective assessment of pain and function included a visual analog scale for pain; the Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire; and the EuroQol-5D questionnaire. The inclusion criteria included age of 18 years or older and previous failure of nonoperative treatment.

Results: The average ages in the PRP and Tenex groups were 47 years and 51 years, respectively. The PRP cohort (n = 32) included 10 female and 22 male patients, whereas the Tenex cohort (n = 30) included 12 female and 18 male patients. The PRP and Tenex groups both demonstrated clinical and statistical improvement in visual analog scale pain scores; Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scores; and EuroQol-5D scores. No statistically significant difference was found between the 2 treatment modalities.

Conclusion: The PRP and Tenex procedures were both successful in producing clinically and statistically significant improvements in pain, function, and quality of life.

Keywords: Elbow pain; Tenex; epicondylitis; golfer's elbow; platelet-rich plasma; tennis elbow.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tennis Elbow / therapy*
  • Tenotomy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Analog Scale
  • Young Adult