Publication Date






The prevailing trend for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis (LE) is nonsurgical. Although many providers consider LE surgery controversial, others consider surgical intervention in patients with recalcitrant symptoms. The purpose of this study is to analyze epidemiological changes in LE surgery over a 9-year period prior to the coronavirus pandemic in 2019.


A cross-sectional analysis of the Texas health care database from 2010 to 2018 was performed. We analyzed all procedures performed for LE during the set time period using Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes. Statistical analyses included procedures performed, patient demographics, zone of residence, and insurance designation.


There were a total of 12802 records of LE with 1 or more associated surgical procedures. Lateral epicondylar debridement (with/without tendon repair) was the most common procedure recorded, followed by arthroscopic procedures and tendon lengthening. Overall incidence remained low and did not significantly change during the studied period; however, surgical case volumes were significantly higher in metropolitan areas and increased at a faster rate when compared with those of more rural regions. Commercial insurance was the most prevailing form of payment. The incidence was significantly higher in the age group between 45 and 64 years old and most commonly performed in Caucasian females.


The benefit of surgery for the treatment of LE has yet to be completely elucidated; however, surgical intervention continues to be offered. Although the incidence of surgery for the treatment of LE remained low over the study period, the volume of cases in metropolitan areas increased at a fast rate between 2010 and 2018. The results of this study found that surgery is still a treatment option in some patients despite the controversy.

Level of Evidence

Economic/Decision Analysis, Level IV


Lateral Epicondylitis, Tennis Elbow, Incidence, Surgery


PMID: 38685993

Included in

Orthopedics Commons



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