Ultrasonic Percutaneous Tenotomy for Recalcitrant Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy: Clinical and Sonographic Results at 90 Months

Benjamin F.H. Ang, P. Chandra Mohan, Meng Ai Png, John Carson Allen, Tet Sen Howe, Joyce S.B. Koh, Brian P. Lee, Bernard F. Morrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In a study from our institution, ultrasonic percutaneous tenotomy of the brevis and the common extensor tendon for recalcitrant lateral elbow tendinopathy showed excellent safety profiles, high tolerability, efficiency, sustained pain relief, functional improvement, and sonographic evidence of tissue healing in 20 patients at 3 years’ follow-up. Purpose: To explore the long-term clinical and sonographic results of ultrasonic percutaneous tenotomy of the brevis and the common extensor tendon. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: The same cohort of 20 patients was recalled after 7 years, and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scores, need for secondary intervention, and overall satisfaction were assessed. They were also reassessed using ultrasound imaging of the brevis and the common extensor tendon to evaluate tendon hypervascularity, tendon thickness, and the progress or the recurrence of the hypoechoic scar tissue. Results: We successfully scored 19 patients and performed ultrasound on 16 patients with a median follow-up of 90 months (range, 86-102 months). There were no adverse outcomes and satisfaction remained at 100% (6 patients, satisfied; 13 patients, very satisfied). No patient developed a recurrence of symptoms and signs of lateral elbow tendinopathy, and therefore no secondary intervention was required. The improvement from baseline and early term scores was sustained (P <.001 for all). At 90 months, there was a significant improvement in VAS scores and DASH–Compulsory scores compared with preprocedure scores and all follow-up times until 3 months. There was no difference in VAS scores and DASH–Compulsory scores at 90 months compared with 6 and 36 months. For DASH–Work scores, there was a significant improvement at 90 months compared with preprocedure scores, but there was no difference between DASH–Work scores at 90 months and scores at all other points of follow-up. At 90 months, hypervascularity remained resolved in 79% of patients, while all patients had reduced tendon swelling and sustained resolution or reduction of the hypoechoic lesion. Conclusion: At the long-term follow-up of 90 months, ultrasonic percutaneous tenotomy of the brevis and the common extensor tendon, previously shown to enhance recovery of lateral elbow tendinopathy, demonstrated good durability of pain relief and functional recovery that was previously achieved. This was accompanied by sustained sonographic tissue healing with no significant deterioration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1854-1860
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume49
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • lateral epicondylitis
  • minimally invasive
  • recalcitrant tendinopathy
  • tennis elbow
  • ultrasonic percutaneous tenotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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