What is the role of polidocanol in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)?

Updated: Oct 30, 2018
  • Author: Bryant James Walrod, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Polidocanol is a vascular sclerosant. Zeisig et al looked at 32 patients with symptoms of chronic lateral epicondylitis in whom conservative therapy had failed. [36] Some patients had previously had injections (cortisone = 24, botulism = 5). Eccentric strengthening was previously used in 22 participants and 2 participants had tendon-lengthening surgery. Symptoms were present for more than 3 months and there had been no previous treatment in the past 3 months. Groups were randomized to either an ultrasound-guided blinded injection of polidocanol or lidocaine plus epinephrine.

Patients were followed for 3 months for primary endpoints of satisfaction with treatment and elbow pain during grip activities of daily life. At 3 months, if they still had pain, they were offered another injection of polidocanol. They were then followed for a total of 12 months. At 3 and 12 months, there was a significant improvement in patient satisfaction and in VAS grip pain from baseline for both groups. However, there was no significant difference between the groups.

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