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Radiofrequency to Treat Elbow Tendinosis

In this study researchers at the San Diego Sports Medicine Center used
radiofrequency
(RF) to treat tendinosis of the elbow. Tendinosis is damage and degeneration of the tissue without inflammation. It's different from tendonitis, which has active inflammation.

RF energy is a type of heat treatment used to break molecular bonds. The particles have enough energy to dissolve soft tissue when heated to between 100 and 160 degrees. The treatment was used on 13 patients who didn't get better with conservative care after six months or more of pain.

All of the patients got better with this treatment. Most had pain relief on the first or second day after the RF treatment. Grip strength improved as much as possible after four to six weeks. Arm and hand function improved steadily for up to a year after the treatment.

Arthroscopically applied RF is less invasive than open surgery. It's a safe and effective treatment for tendinosis. Rehab begins early, and patients get rapid relief of symptoms.


James P. Tasto, M.D., et al. Microtenotomy Using a Radiofrequency Probe to Treat Lateral Epicondylitis. In Arthroscopy. July 2005. Vol. 21. No. 7. Pp. 851-860.

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