Long-term effectiveness of conservative management for lateral epicondylitis: a meta-analysis


  • Qiaojie Chen Department of Orthopedics, Ningbo No.2 Hospital, Ningbo, China
  • Pingping Shen Department of Gastroenterology, Ningbo Yinzhou No.2 Hospital, Ningbo, China
  • Bo Zhang Department of Orthopedics, Ningbo No.2 Hospital, Ningbo, China
  • Yang Chen Department of Orthopedics, Ningbo No.2 Hospital, Ningbo, China
  • Chunli Zheng Department of TCM Rehabilitation, Ningbo No.2 Hospital, Ningbo, China




lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow, conservative management, therapy, interventions, treatment


Objective: To investigate the long-term (>12 months) effectiveness of conservative management for lateral epicondylitis.
Data Sources: PubMed and Embase databases were searched for relevant studies from inception to March 2023.
Study Selection and Data Extraction: Only English-written randomized controlled trial (RCT) with data download as well as follow up ≥12 months were acceptable. Raw data were extracted into a predefined worksheet, and quality analysis was conducted based on the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool version 2 (RoB2).
Data Synthesis: The standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated.
Results: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) could significantly relive pain for lateral epicondylitis patients in the long term (SMD: −0.19, 95% CI [−0.36, −0.02]); however, there was no significant difference between ESWT and control groups in long-term function outcome (SMD: 0.24, 95% CI [−0.02, −0.49]). No significant difference could be observed between (1) exercise and control groups in pain (SMD: −0.21, 95% CI [−0.60, 0.18]) or function (SMD: 0.06, 95% CI [−0.11, 0.23]), (2) corticosteroids and placebo groups in pain (SMD: 0.70, 95% CI [−0.43, 1.82]) or function (SMD: −0.02, 95% CI [−0.36, 0.31]), and (3) platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in pain (SMD: −0.30, 95% CI [−0.85, 0.25]) and function (SMD: −0.08, 95% CI [−0.78, 0.62]).
Conclusion: The present conventional conservative management for lateral epicondylitis, with the exception
of ESWT, a lack adequate evidence supporting their long-term effectiveness.


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How to Cite

Chen, Q., Shen, . P., Zhang, B. ., Chen, Y. ., & Zheng, C. . (2023). Long-term effectiveness of conservative management for lateral epicondylitis: a meta-analysis. Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, 58, 67–73. https://doi.org/10.2340/jphs.v58.12333



Original Research Articles