Percutaneous ultrasonic tendon needling has been used to treat persistent lateral epicondylitis, and its efficacy has been demonstrated. However, whether ultrasonography is necessary remains unclear. The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of percutaneous tendon needling without ultrasonography for lateral epicondylitis. A total of 36 patients who underwent tendon needling without ultrasonography for lateral epicondylitis were retrospectively included in the study. The tendinotic lesion was needled by fenestration approximately 20–30 times without sonographic assistance. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) pain score, the grip strength, and success rates were assessed at baseline and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after treatment. The Nirschl tennis elbow score was evaluated at baseline and at 6 and 12 months after the needling procedure. The mean VAS pain score and grip strength at 3, 6, and 12 months significantly improved compared to the baseline values. At 6 and 12 months, the success rates had significantly increased compared to the rates at 1 month. The mean Nirschl scores at 6 and 12 months were significantly better than the baseline value. No severe complications were observed during the study period. Percutaneous tendon needling without ultrasonography is a simple and safe technique. The procedure is effective for lateral epicondylitis that is unresponsive to conventional conservative treatments.
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