Conservative treatment of lateral epicondylitis: comparison of two different orthotic devices

Altan L., Kanat E.

CLINICAL RHEUMATOLOGY, vol.27, no.8, pp.1015-1019, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10067-008-0862-8
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1015-1019
  • Keywords: lateral epicondylitis, orthotic devices, ELBOW, PHYSIOTHERAPY
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


We investigated the effectiveness of braces in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis and compared the effects of two different types of most frequently used braces. A total of 50 patients (seven males and 43 females) with an age range of 34 to 60 who had the diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis were included in the study. The patients were distributed into two groups. In group I, 25 patients (21 females and four males) were given a lateral epicondyle bandage. In group II, 25 patients (22 females and three males) were given a wrist resting splint holding the wrist in slight dorsiflexion. Evaluations of the patients were done before treatment and at the second and sixth weeks of treatment. Evaluation parameters were pain during rest and movement, sensitivity, algometer score, hand grip strength, and evaluation of the response to treatment. The response to treatment was evaluated according to the following categories: excellent, good, medium, and bad. In group I, only pain during rest and movement significantly decreased at 2 weeks while significant improvement was obtained for all parameters at 6 weeks. In group II, all parameters except for algometric sensitivity showed significant improvement at 2 weeks. Significant improvement was obtained for all parameters at 6 weeks in this group. Comparison of the two groups showed significantly better improvement in resting pain in group II at 2 weeks while there was no difference for other parameters including response to treatment at either evaluation stage. Braces might be a good strategy to help wait out the natural course of tennis elbow complaints. Although epicondyle bandage was not found to be superior to wrist splint in our study, we may suggest that it could be favored over splint since it is more practical and cosmetically acceptable.