Corticosteroid injections for the treatment of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) provide short term benefit to platelet rich plasma (PRP) at up to 1 month but PRP treatment is more effective long term at 6 months plus and is safer. An updated systematic review May 2023.
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.
13 studies were included in the review analysis. There was no publication bias identified. The results suggest that PRP has similar advantage to steroid injections within the first month of treatment, but that it is superior to steroids at both 3 and 6 months. The outcomes also suggest that the steroid injection has a short-term positive effect during the early stages, although the quality of the available evidence is not very atrong to support this finding.
Steroid injections can often provide short term benefit, however, the problem often reappears in most chronic cases. When it does reappear it is often less response to steroid and can be more difficult to treat. Furthermore, steroid can hinder strength of damaged tissue by causing tissue degradation. PRP on the other hand has a unique ability to reduce inflammation, promote healing of damaged tissue and has better outcomes long term. Find out further information here - PRP treatment.
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