Hypertonic dextrose and morrhuate sodium injections (prolotherapy) for lateral epicondylosis (tennis elbow): Results of a single-blind, pilot-level, randomized controlled trial

David Rabago, Ken S. Lee, Michael Ryan, Amrish O. Chourasia, Mary E. Sesto, Aleksandra Zgierska, Rick Kijowski, Jessica Grettie, John Wilson, Daniel Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Chronic lateral epicondylosis is common, debilitating, and often refractory. Prolotherapy (PrT) is an injection therapy for tendinopathy. The efficacy of two PrT solutions for chronic lateral epicondylosis was evaluated. DESIGN: This study is a three-arm randomized controlled trial. Twenty-six adults (32 elbows) with chronic lateral epicondylosis for 3 mos or longer were randomized to ultrasound-guided PrT with dextrose solution, ultrasound-guided PrT with dextrose-morrhuate sodium solution, or watchful waiting ("wait and see"). The primary outcome was the Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation (100 points) at 4, 8, and 16 wks (all groups) and at 32 wks (PrT groups). The secondary outcomes included pain-free grip strength and magnetic resonance imaging severity score. RESULTS: The participants receiving PrT with dextrose and PrT with dextrose-morrhuate reported improved Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation composite and subscale scores at 4, 8, and/or 16 wks compared with those in the wait-and-see group (P < 0.05). At 16 wks, compared with baseline, the PrT with dextrose and PrT with dextrose-morrhuate groups reported improved composite Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation scores by a mean (SE) of 18.7 (9.6; 41.1%) and 17.5 (11.6; 53.5%) points, respectively. The grip strength of the participants receiving PrT with dextrose exceeded that of the PrT with dextrose-morrhuate and the wait and see at 8 and 16 wks (P < 0.05). There were no differences in magnetic resonance imaging scores. Satisfaction was high; there were no adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: PrT resulted in safe, significant improvement of elbow pain and function compared with baseline status and follow-up data and the wait-and-see control group. This pilot study suggests the need for a definitive trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-596
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume92
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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