Corticosteroid injections for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis are superior to platelet-rich plasma at 1 month but platelet-rich plasma is more effective at 6 months: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of level 1 and 2 studies

Erik Hohmann, Kevin Tetsworth, Vaida Glatt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing local injections of either platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or corticosteroid for the treatment of lateral elbow epicondylitis. Methods: A systematic review of MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and Google Scholar was performed, and all level 1 and 2 randomized studies from 2000 to 2022 were included. Clinical symptoms, patient perceived outcomes, and pain were assessed by the DASH (disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand questionnaire) and pain by the visual analog scale (VAS). Publication bias and risk of bias were assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's tools. The modified Coleman Methodology Score (CMS) and the GRADE system were used to assess the quality of the body of evidence. Heterogeneity was assessed using χ2 and I2 statistics. Results: Thirteen studies were included in the analysis. Five studies had a high risk of bias, and the risk of bias across studies was assessed as unclear. There was no publication bias identified. Two of the four GRADE domains (inconsistency of results, imprecision of results) were downgraded to low quality, and the final GRADE assessment was downgraded to a low quality of evidence. The mean CMS score was 62.8, indicating fair quality. The pooled estimate for VAS at 1 month favored corticosteroids (P = .75) but favored PRP at three (P = .003) and six months (P = .0001). The pooled estimate for the DASH score favored corticosteroids at 1 month (P = .028) but favored PRP at three (P = .01) and six months (P = .107) Conclusion: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that PRP has no advantage over steroid injections within the first month of treatment, but that it is superior to steroids at both 3 and 6 months. These results also suggest that corticosteroids have a short-term beneficial effect during the early treatment period, although the quality of the available evidence is not very robust in support of this finding. However, these findings must all be viewed with caution as the high risk of bias and moderate to low quality of the included studies may not justify a recommendation of one treatment over another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1770-1783
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of shoulder and elbow surgery
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Keywords

  • Level II
  • PRP
  • Review and Meta-analysis
  • Tennis elbow
  • lateral epicondylitis
  • meta-analysis
  • platelet-rich plasma
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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