Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital of Chung-Ang University of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital of Chung-Ang University of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. 2022;31(2):428-436
BACKGROUND Although surgical treatment is considered reliable for lateral elbow tendinosis, local injection therapy may be preferable, as it avoids surgery. Among a number of local injections, platelet-rich plasma has been used successfully to treat lateral elbow tendinosis. The purpose of this study was to compare the outcomes in patients treated with either platelet-rich plasma injections or surgery for lateral
elbow tendinosis using a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. METHODS MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were systematically searched for studies published before March 1, 2021, that compared platelet-rich plasma with operative treatment for lateral elbow tendinosis. The pooled analysis was designed to compare the visual analog scale scores and the Patient-Related Tennis Elbow Evaluation scores between the platelet-rich plasma and surgical treatment groups at serial time points. RESULTS We included 5 studies involving 340 patients with lateral elbow tendinosis, comprising of 154 patients treated with platelet-rich plasma and 186 patients who underwent surgical treatment. The pooled analysis showed no statistically significant differences in the visual analog scale scores at any of the follow-up time points, namely, 2 months (mean difference [MD] 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.51 to 4.74, P = .55, I(2) = 94%), 6 months (MD 0.80, 95% CI -2.83 to 4.42, P = .67, I(2) = 92%), and 12 months (MD -0.92, 95% CI -4.63 to 2.80, P = .63, I(2) = 93%) postintervention and in the Patient-Related Tennis Elbow Evaluation scores at 12 weeks (MD -1.86, 95% CI -22.30 to 18.58, P = .86, I(2) = 81%), 24 weeks (MD -3.33, 95% CI -21.82 to 15.17, P = .72, I(2) = 74%), and 52 weeks (MD -3.64, 95% CI -19.65 to 12.37, P = .66, I(2) = 69%) postintervention. CONCLUSIONS Local platelet-rich plasma injections and surgical treatment produced equivalent pain scores and functional outcomes in patients with lateral elbow tendinosis. Thus, platelet-rich plasma injections may represent a reasonable alternative treatment for patients who are apprehensive to proceed with surgery or for poor surgical candidates.