Comparison of platelet rich plasma and corticosteroids in the management of lateral epicondylitis: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Int J Surg. 2019 Jul;67:37-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2019.05.003. Epub 2019 May 22.


Objective: To compare the clinical efficacy of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections with that of corticosteroids in patients with lateral epicondylitis (LE).

Methods: We searched for relevant studies on the comparison of PRP and corticosteroids in the management of lateral epicondylitis in electronic databases, including PubMed, Embase, Ovid, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Wan Fang and China National Knowledge Internet, up to March 2019. The outcomes were pain score, elbow joint function and adverse effects after local injection. For continuous data, the weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was used. Risk difference (RD) with a 95% CI were calculated for dichotomous outcomes. Cochrane Collaboration's tool was used to assess the risk of bias. The data were collected and input into the STATA software.

Results: A total of seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 515 patients were finally included in our study. The present meta-analysis indicated that PRP injection yielded statistically significant superior in pain scores and elbow joint function at a 6-month follow up compared with local corticosteroid injection. No significant difference was identified between two groups regarding the post-injection adverse events.

Conclusion: Local PRP injections was associated with superior outcomes for reducing pain and improving elbow joint function compared with local corticosteroids treatment for LE at a follow-up of 6 months.

Keywords: Corticosteroid; Lateral epicondylitis; Meta-analysis; Pain; Platelet-rich plasma.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthralgia / physiopathology
  • Arthralgia / therapy
  • Elbow Joint / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Pain Measurement
  • Platelet Transfusion / methods*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recovery of Function
  • Tennis Elbow / complications
  • Tennis Elbow / physiopathology
  • Tennis Elbow / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones