Management of tennis elbow: a survey of UK clinical practice
Background: Tennis elbow is a common condition in the UK but there are no guidelines on how best to manage the condition. The purpose of the present study was to establish the current UK practice in managing patients with chronic tennis elbow. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey of UK surgeons and therapists was conducted in June 2017. Results: In total, 275 responses were received, the majority from consultant surgeons and experienced physiotherapists. In total, 81% recommended exercise-based physiotherapy as the first-line intervention. Second-line treatments varied widely, with corticosteroid injections being the most popular (27%), followed by shockwave therapy, platelet-rich plasma injection, surgery, acupuncture and a wait-and-see policy. Conclusions: There is wide variability of treatments offered when physiotherapy fails patients with tennis elbow. The majority of second-line interventions lack evidence to support their use and, in the case of corticosteroid injections, may even be harmful in the long term. There is a clear need for national guidance based on best evidence to aid clinicians in their treatment approach.