Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is a common, often disabling ailment. Based on the failure of current therapies, a new dynamic extensor brace has been developed. In this study, the effects of application of this brace for 3 months on the most important and disabling symptoms of patients with lateral epicondylitis were assessed. After prestratification for the duration of complaints (ie, ≤ 3 months and ≥ 3 months), 63 patients initially were assigned randomly to 12 weeks of brace treatment (Group 1; n = 30) or no brace treatment (Group 2; n = 33). Outcome measures included pain (VAS), pain-free grip strength, maximum grip strength, and functionality of the arm. All outcomes were assessed at 6, 12, 18, and 24 weeks. Brace treatment resulted in significant pain reduction, improved functionality of the arm, and improvement in pain-free grip strength. The beneficial effects of the dynamic extensor brace observed after 12 weeks were significantly different from the treatment group that received no brace. The beneficial effects were sustained for another 12 weeks. No correlation between duration of symptoms and treatment effects of the brace was revealed. The dynamic extensor brace is an effective therapeutic tool for treating lateral epicondylitis.
Level of Evidence: Therapeutic study. Level I (randomized controlled trial with statistically significant difference). See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.