Gps Are Using Corticosteroid Injections At The Same Rate As They Did 15 Years Ago

April 24,2018

Macquarie Stem Cells has provided this information to educate the public based on peer reviewed, published scientific and medical documents. We don’t aim to encourage consumers to seek out such treatments prior to an assessment by a health professional to determine your suitability for treatment. This is obtained directly from Australian Doctor. We aim to provide you with an unbiased range of treatments that are available aside from biological therapy, this is discussed in ‘supporting information>other-options’  page on our website.

Published: PLOS One Online – 2017

GP’s are using corticosteroid injections at the same rate as they did 15 years ago.

BEACH data for 1000 GPs from 2000 to 2015 indicate tennis elbow is a common problem, with a similar number of presentations (242,000 a year) as hip and knee osteoarthritis in primary care.

Tennis elbow was most commonly managed with advice and education (29 per 100 consultations) or a referral to another healthcare provider, usually a physiotherapist (14 per 100 encounters). GPs used physical therapy or rehab in 16 per 100 consultations for tennis elbow.

Local steroid injections were used in nine out of 100 consultations for tennis elbow, and the rate of use did not appear to have diminished in recent years.

“Management … largely follows what is recommended in the literature. That is, with the exception that there does not appear to be abatement of the use of corticosteroid injections in the 15-year census period, during which clinical trial research has not supported their use for tennis elbow,” the researchers noted.

They said the findings were surprising given that evidence indicated steroids provide only short-term relief of tennis elbow and may delay healing and increase recurrence.

This directly relates to one of the most recent statements – CORTICOSTERIOD INJECTIONS WEAKEN THE TENDON AND INCREASE THE RISK OF RUPTURE.
These “anti-inflammatory injections have been widely used for short-term pain relief but they suppress the cellular activity of human tenocytes and collagen production.” (Pak J. et al, 2017)
Short term pain relief is not worth long term damage.

“While … resolution takes some time to manifest, the ‘wait and see’ approach has been found to be superior to corticosteroid injections over the mid to long-term,” (Vincenzo et al., 2017), (Wright J. 2017)



REF: 1. Vicenzino, B., Britt, H., Pollack, A., Hall, M., Bennell, K. and Hunter, D. (2017). No abatement of steroid injections for tennis elbow in Australian General Practice: A 15-year observational study with random general practitioner sampling. PLOS ONE, 12(7), p.e0181631.

2. Wright, J. (2017). Researchers surprised GPs are still injecting steroids for tennis elbow. [online] Australian Doctor. Available at: https://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/latest-news/gps-still-prescribing-steroid-injections-for-tenni? [Accessed 25 Jul. 2017].

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