Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
Research Article

Comparison of low level laser therapy and extracorporeal shock wave in treatment of chronic lateral epicondylitis


Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, SANKO University, School of Medicine, Gaziantep, Turkey


Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, SANKO University, Sani Konukoğlu Research and Practice Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey


Department of Biostatistics, SANKO University, School of Medicine, Gaziantep, Turkey


Department of Physiot herapy and Rehabilitation, SANKO University, School of Health Sciences, Gaziantep, Turkey

AOTT 2020; 54: 591-595
DOI: 10.5152/j.aott.2020.19102
Read: 202 Downloads: 53 Published: 30 December 2020

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) ver-sus low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in treating chronic lateral epicondylitis (CLE).

Methods: In this prospective study, 52 patients (24 males, 28 females; mean age=48 years; age range=30-70 years) with a diagnosis of CLE were included and randomized into two groups (26 in each group): ESWT group (14 males, 12 females; mean age=48±10 years) or LLLT group (10 males, 16 females; mean age=48±11 years). ESWT was applied for 5 weeks with one session per week, while LLLT was applied with 15 sessions on consecutive days. All patients were evaluated using Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand Questionnaire (DASH), Patient-Related Lateral Epicondy-litis Evaluation (PRTEE), and the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) before and after the treatments.

Results: In the comparison of baseline data between treatment groups, significant differences were observed only in SF-Physical functioning and SF-Energy/fatigue scores (p=0.035 and p=0.038, re-spectively), which were 77.1±17.2 and 56.3±17.2 in ESWT group and 66.5±18.0 and 44.8±21.5 in LLLT group, respectively. In the comparison of post-treatment data between groups, there were sig-nificant differences in all scores (p<0.05) except two subscales of SF-36, which were SF-role limita-tions due to emotional problems (p=0.092) and physical health (p=0.147), respectively. The other subscales of SF-36, PRTEE and DASH scores obtained after the treatments were better in ESWT group than in LLLT group. The comparison of pre-and post-treatment scores in each group revealed significant improvements in all scores (p<0.05), except SF-36 subscales, including energy/fatigue, emotional well-being, social functioning, and general health scores (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Evidence from this study revealed that although both treatment modalities were effective in the treatment of CLE, ESWT seemed to more effective in pain relief and functional recovery than LLLT.

Level of Evidence: Level II, Therapeutic study

Cite this article as: Turgay T, Günel Karadeniz P, Sever GB. Comparison of low level laser therapy and extracorporeal shock wave in treatment of chronic lateral epicondylitis. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc 2020; 54(6): 591-5.

ISSN 1017-995X EISSN 2589-1294