The long-term effects of Corticosteroid shots on Tennis Elbow rehab are in the news again with the publishing of another study in the Journal of the AMA on February 6th.
According the USA Today / AP story on steroid shots for Tennis Elbow:
“[Cortisone] shots may worsen Tennis Elbow in the long run and increase chances that the painful condition will reappear”
The Australian medical study itself showed that in the treatment of Tennis Elbow:
“Corticosteroid injection resulted in lower complete recovery or much improvement at 1 year vs placebo injection… and greater 1-year recurrence (54% vs 12%)”
Which is a FOUR times greater rate of pain recurrence with the shot vs without!
For an even bigger picture, including WHY the shots are potentially so harmful, see my recent article (post, video and podcast) at Tennis Elbow Classroom about:
More Evidence Cortisone Shots Do More Harm Than Good?
The Australian study is by no means the first of its kind and echos other studies and papers like this one suggesting that Cortisone has no long-term benefit:
“…there is no evidence they [Cortisone shots] provide any benefit in the long term (beyond 6 months)”
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008 July; 466(7) – Brett M. Andres, MD, et al:
Cortisone: No evidence of long-term benefit (G+ Post)