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An investigation of the asymptomatic limb in unilateral lateral epicondylalgia

journal contribution
posted on 28.06.2018, 00:00 by Luke HealesLuke Heales, PW Hodges, B Vicenzino
© 2015 by the American College of Sports Medicine.Introduction Musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) imaging is used to investigate features of tendinosis. Recent studies have reported tendon pathology not only in the symptomatic tendon but also in the contralateral asymptomatic tendon of animals and humans with unilateral Achilles tendinopathy. This study assessed the symptomatic and contralateral asymptomatic tendon in unilateral lateral epicondylalgia (LE) for features of tendinosis and compared with a pain-free control. Methods Twenty-nine participants with clinically diagnosed unilateral LE and 32 pain-free controls (matched for age, sex, and arm dominance) underwent a blinded bilateral MSUS examination of the common extensor tendon using a standardized protocol. Grayscale features, including tendon thickening, hypoechoic region, fibrillar disruption and calcification, as well as neovascularity, were scored using separate ordinal scales. Tendon thickness and hypoechoic volume were also measured. Results The contralateral asymptomatic tendon did not differ from the tendons of the pain-free controls. The symptomatic tendon of participants with LE revealed a significantly greater score for the following: tendon thickening (mean difference, 0.76 (95% confidence interval, 0.22-1.30)), hypoechoic changes (0.58 (0.05-1.11)), fibrillar disruption (0.97 (0.52-1.42)), and neovascularity (1.53 (0.9-2.2)) than controls. Hypoechoic volume was greater in the symptomatic arm (33.0 mm3 (8.4-57.6)), than that in the controls. Discussion Unlike Achilles tendinopathy, MSUS examination did not reveal features of tendinosis in the contralateral asymptomatic limb beyond those present in tendons of pain-free controls.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

47

Issue

11

Start Page

2268

End Page

2272

Number of Pages

5

eISSN

1530-0315

ISSN

0195-9131

Publisher

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

University of Queensland

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise

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