Topical Nitric Oxide Application in the Treatment of Chronic Extensor Tendinosis at the Elbow. A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

Justin A. Paoloni, Richard C. Appleyard, Janis Nelson, George A C Murrell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

144 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Extensor tendinosis ("tennis elbow") is a degenerative overuse tendinopathy of the wrist extensors at their attachment to the lateral humeral epicondyle. No treatrnent has been universally successful. Topical application of nitric oxide has been used effectively to treat fractures and cutaneous wounds in animal models, presumably by stimulation of collagen synthesis in fibroblasts. Purpose: To determine whether topical nitric oxide can improve outcome of patients with extensor tendinosis. Study Design: Prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial. Methods: Eighty-six patients with extensor tendinosis were randomized into two equal groups; both were instructed to perform a standard tendon rehabilitation program. One group received an active glyceryl trinitrate transdermal patch, and the other group received a placebo patch. Results: Patients in the glyceryl trinitrate group had significantly reduced elbow pain with activity at 2 weeks, reduced epicondylar tenderness at 6 and 12 weeks, and an increase in wrist extensor mean peak force and total work at 24 weeks. At 6 months, 81% of treated patients were asymptomatic during activities of daily living, compared with 60% of patients who had tendon rehabilitation alone. Conclusions: Application of topical nitric oxide improved early pain with activity, late functional measures, and outcomes of patients with extensor tendinosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-920
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume31
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

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