What is More Effective: Corticosteroid Injections or Platelet Rich Plasma Infections in the Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis?
Date of Award
Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc)
Department of Physician Assistant Medicine
Justin M. Gambini, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Curt Stilp, Ed.D., PA-C
Lateral epicondylitis is a common degenerative tendinopathy that affects a wide variety of individuals. One patient population that often suffers more than others are workers with manual labor jobs that use vibrating tools and repetitive motions.1 Procedural costs and disease burden associated with lateral epicondylitis have increased in recent years.3 Current treatment of lateral epicondylitis using corticosteroid injections is beginning to fall out of favor. Corticosteroid injections help decrease inflammation; however, research looking into the histology of lateral epicondylitis favors more of a degenerative tendinopathy rather than an inflammatory condtion.1 In addition, several studies have found corticosteroid injections to be helpful in the acute phase of lateral epicondylitis but detrimental long-term with rates of relapse in pain and functional impairment.5 Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections are proving to be an alternative type of injection to treat lateral epicondylitis. PRP contains growth factors and cytokines that help stimulate the healing process.7 Several promising studies have shown that PRP might be more helpful in long-term treatment of lateral epicondylitis. One systematic review found that corticosteroid injections proved to be beneficial for pain relief and function in the short-term (2-8 weeks); whereas PRP injections was shown to be beneficial for long term (8 weeks) pain relief and function.2
Mohr, Joseph, "What is More Effective: Corticosteroid Injections or Platelet Rich Plasma Infections in the Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis?" (2022). Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc). 10.