2017 ISAKOS Biennial Congress ePoster #406


Refractory Tennis Elbow: Is Radiofrequency Microdebridement an Answer?

Kiran K.V. Acharya, MBBS, MS, Udupi, Karnataka INDIA
Vivek Pandey, MBBS, MS(Orth), Udupi, Karnataka INDIA

Kasturba Medical College & Hospital, Manipal 576104, Karnataka, INDIA

FDA Status Cleared


A retrospective study of 22 cases of refractory tennis elbow treated with radio frequency microdebridement



Many treatment modalities have been prescribed for Tennis Elbow or Lateral epicondylitis. However a limited number of cases continue to appear for follow up with no improvent in pain relief or function and may require surgical intervention. The objective of this study was to assess the outcome of radiofrequency coblation, in a consecutive series of refractory tennis elbow patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of 22 patients with tennis elbow treated surgically between January 2010 and January 2014 was performed. There were 10 men and 12 women averaging 38 years at the time of surgery. In all patients, non-operative management failed, and they underwent surgery at a mean of 12 months after the onset of symptoms. Under regional anaesthesia & tourniquet control, microdebridement using radiofrequency coblation was performed using Topaz microdebrider wand. Postoperatively patients mobilized their elbow, with local cryotherapy. RESULTS: At a mean follow-up of 12 months, pain improved from 1.5 +/- 1.3 preoperatively to 8.1 +/- 2.4 at follow-up (P < .01). Of the patients, 7 (32%) reported mild pain with strenuous activities and 1 (5%) received mild benefit from the procedure. Patients required a mean of 3.8 weeks to return to regular activities and 8 weeks to return to full activity. No serious complications were identified. CONCLUSIONS: Microdebridement using Radiofrequency coblation is a good option for refractory lateral epicondylitis. This procedure appears to be safe and effective and allows early mobilization and return to work.