What is the efficacy of wrist extension splint for the treatment lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)?

Updated: Oct 30, 2018
  • Author: Bryant James Walrod, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Answer

In 2010, Garg et al randomized 42 patients with acute symptoms of lateral epicondylitis to either a wrist extension splint or a counterforce brace. Again, there was no control, nonbraced, group. Ice and home stretching exercised were recommended to both groups. Clinical outcomes were measured at the time of enrollment and at 6 weeks of follow up. Both groups overall improved at the 6-week mark. Specifically looking at some of the outcomes measured however, pain was significantly more reduced in the wrist splint group than the counterforce brace group.

At 6 weeks, significant improvement was noted in all parameters with the implementation of counterforce bracing. The wrist splint group demonstrated improvement in all parameters measured at 2 and 6 weeks except for sensitivity at 2 weeks. Comparison of the 2 groups showed significant improvement in resting pain at 2 weeks for the wrist splint group over the counterforce brace group. No other significant differences were noted between the 2 groups. This study was limited by lack of a control, nonbraced, group. In summary, all patients improved with either counterforce elbow bracing or wrist splint bracing at 2 and 6 weeks. Wrist splint bracing, however, demonstrated an advantage on some measured subjective and objective parameters. [21]


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