Arthroscopic Recession Technique in the Surgery of Tennis Elbow by Sharp Cutting the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB) Tendon Origin

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 Orthopedic Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 1 Orthopedic Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran 2 Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, Thomas Jefferson Univesity, Philadelphia, USA


Abstract Background: The aim of this study was to assess the functional outcomes and time to improve after the modified arthroscopic technique (recession technique) by using a knife to sharply cut the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) tendon origin in patients with recalcitrant tennis elbow. Methods: In a prospective study, we included 11 consecutive patients. Following the routine elbow arthroscopy and after exposing the ECRB tendon, we used a knife (no. 11 blade) to cut the tendon at the level of radiocapitellar articulation while avoiding the lateral collateral ligament, which is considered a tendon recession as is done in spastic muscles. Patients were followed up for 1, 3, 6, and 12 month intervals and were asked to fill the Mayo Elbow Performance Index (MEPI), Quick Disabilities of the Arm Shoulder Hand (QuickDASH), and Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation (PRTEE). Results: The mean PRTEE, QuickDASH, and MEPI scores showed significant improvement over time (p <0.001). There were 5 excellent, 5 good and 1 fair results based on MEPI. The patient with fair result was the only patient with existing varus instability on examination under anesthesia although we could not elicit the test positive on clinical examination. Substantial functional and pain improvement was reported almost 6 months after surgery. We did not find any nerve injury or post-operative infection. Conclusion: Arthroscopic recession surgery by using a knife is a safe and effective way in managing recalcitrant tennis elbow although patients should be informed of the expected time to improve. A simple tendon recession by a sharp cut is a time-saving technique that works effectively and is comparable with the piecemeal shaving. Clinical Relevance: The modified muscle recession technique is a rapid and safe way to manage the recalcitrant tennis elbow arthroscopically while the outcomes are comparable to the routine piecemeal shaving of the pathologic tissue. Level of evidence: IV


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