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Orthotic devices for tennis elbow: a systematic review

, : Orthotic devices for tennis elbow: a systematic review. British Journal of General Practice 51(472): 924-929

Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is af requently reported condition. A wide variety of treatment strategies has been described. Asy et, no optimal strategy has been identified. The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of orthotic devices for treatment of tennis elbow. An electronic database search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register Current Contents, and reference listsf rom all retrieved articles. Experts on the subjects were approachedfor additional trials. All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) descrbiing individuals with diagnosed lateral epicondylitis and assessing the use of an orthotic device as a treatment strategy were evaluatedfor inclusion. Two reviewers independently assessed the validity of the included trials and extracted data on relevant outcome measures. Dichotomous outcomes were expressed as relative risks and continuous outcomes as standardised mean differences, both with corresponding 95% confidence intervals. Statistical pooling and subgroup analyses were intended. Five small-size RCTs (n = 7-49 per group) were included the validity score ranged from three to nine positive items out of 11. Subgroup analyses were not performed owing to the small number of trials. The limited number of included trials present few outcome measures and limited long-term results. Pooling was not possible owing to the high level of heterogeneity of the trials. No definitive conclusions can be drawn concerning effectiveness of orthotic devices for lateral epicondylitis. More well-designed and well-conducted RCTs of sufficient power are warranted.


PMID: 11761209

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