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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 191-197

The effectiveness of hyaluronic acid injection in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis among adults: A systematic review

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, St. Luke's Medical Center, Quezon City, Philippines
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, St. Luke's Medical Center, Quezon City; Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Medicine and Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila, Manila, Philippines

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Carl Froilan D. Leochico
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, St. Luke's Medical, Center, 279 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave, Quezon City, 1112 Metro Manila
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JISPRM-000139

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Background: Lateral epicondylitis is common and may negatively impact activities of daily living. Currently, various conservative treatments are available including physiotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and interventional physiatry. Among the interventional procedures, periarticular hyaluronic acid (HA) injection is an emerging treatment option, but it lacks firm evidence to support its use. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the effectiveness and safety of HA in reducing pain and improving function of patients with lateral epicondylitis. Methods: We conducted a systematic review in January 2020. Randomized controlled trials identified from various electronic databases were included if they involved the following: Adults with lateral epicondylitis, periarticular injection of HA with or without other medications, and reported outcomes on pain, function, and adverse effects. Assessment of risk of bias was performed using the Cochrane Collaboration Tool. Pertinent data were extracted from the eligible studies for data analysis. Results: Among the 42 studies identified, we included two trials with a total of 388 participants followed up within 6–12 months. The trials employed similar techniques in administering HA, although they used different doses and preparations. The control groups used either normal saline or corticosteroid. In both trials, there were statistically significant improvements in pain and function in favor of HA. No serious adverse event was reported. Conclusion: Albeit with promising intermediate and long-term effects for lateral epicondylitis, HA remains to have limited evidence regarding its effectiveness and safety. We recommend further research to determine the most optimal HA preparation, dosage, and technique for lateral epicondylitis that will help standardize our procedures.

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