Study comparing the efficacy of platelet rich plasma versus steroid versus placebo in lateral epicondylitis

Ganesh Kumar Reddy Mundla, Praveen Kumar Venkataramana, Manoj Kumar Reddy Koduru, Biju Ravindran


Background: Lateral epicondylitis is seen more commonly in non-athletes than athletes. Non-operative methods are the mainstay of treatment being effective in more than 95% of cases. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) has shown promising results in many studies as compared to steroid injection & other modes of conservative management. Hence, this study was done to evaluate PRP efficacy in our clinical setup and in the people of age group most commonly being affected.

Methods: This randomized study was conducted at Narayana Medical College Hospital, Nellore, for a period of two years from December 2014 to June 2016 on 150 consenting patients diagnosed as suffering from lateral epicondylitis. Using lottery method for randomization the patients were divided into three groups, based on which the treatment was received. Group –N with 50 patients received 3 ml of normal saline as placebo. Group –P with 50 patients received 3 ml of extracted PRP injection. Group –S with 50 patients received depot preparation of 40 mg of methyl prednisiolone injected into the affected area. The data collected and recorded in the appropriate proforma. Post therapy assessment was done using with Oxford elbow score.

Results:  The overall mean ages of the patients in the three groups (Group P, Group S and Group N) are 38.62±7.53, 37.82±7.79 and 36.3±6.93 respectively. Female preponderance was observed in all the groups. Most common presenting complaint was elbow pain seen in 100% of cases. Most common side involved was the dominant side, right side involvement was seen in 136 cases and left side in 14 cases. The Oxford elbow score pre-treatment in all the groups was not statistically significant and the Oxford elbow score at the end of 12 weeks and 24 weeks treatment showed that PRP and steroid was better than normal saline in control of pain.

Conclusion: Lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow is a painful debilitating condition of elbow, which creates disturbance in functional activities. A single injection of PRP at the site of the elbow pain resulted in relief of pain in patients with longer duration as compared to local steroids to other conservative treatments.


Tennis elbow, Platelet rich plasma, Steroid, Lateral epicondylitis

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