Ultrasound-guided percutaneous needle electrolysis in chronic lateral epicondylitis: short-term and long-term results.

Author: Valera-Garrido F1, Minaya-Muñoz F1, Medina-Mirapeix F2.
1MVClinic, Madrid, Spain Fremap Hospital, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain Faculty of Medicine, San Pablo CEU University, Madrid, Spain. 2Department of Physiotherapy, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
Conference/Journal: Acupunct Med.
Date published: 2014 Aug 13
Other: Pages: acupmed-2014-010619 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2014-010619 , Word Count: 293

Ultrasound (US)-guided percutaneous needle electrolysis (PNE) is a novel minimally invasive approach which consists of the application of a galvanic current through an acupuncture needle.
To evaluate the clinical and ultrasonographic effectiveness of a multimodal programme (PNE, eccentric exercise (EccEx) and stretching) in the short term for patients with chronic lateral epicondylitis, and to determine whether the clinical outcomes achieved decline over time.
A one-way repeated measures study was performed in a clinical setting in 36 patients presenting with lateral epicondylitis. The patients received one session of US-guided PNE per week over 4-6 weeks, associated with a home programme of EccEx and stretching. The main outcome measures were severity of pain, disability (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire), structural tendon changes (US), hypervascularity and patients' perceptions of overall outcome. Measurements at 6, 26 and 52 weeks follow-up included recurrence rates (increase in severity of pain or disability compared with discharge), perception of overall outcome and success rates.
All outcome measures registered significant improvements between pre-intervention and discharge. Most patients (n=30, 83.3%) rated the overall outcome as 'successful' at 6 weeks. The ultrasonographic findings showed that the hypoechoic regions and hypervascularity of the extensor carpi radialis brevis changed significantly. At 26 and 52 weeks, all participants (n=32) perceived a 'successful' outcome. Recurrence rates were null after discharge and at follow-up at 6, 26 and 52 weeks.
Symptoms and degenerative structural changes of chronic lateral epicondylitis are reduced after US-guided PNE associated with EccEx and stretching, with encouragingly low recurrences in the mid to long term.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02085928.
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PMID: 25122629