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Case Reports: Iontophoresis and Phonophoresis for Treating Epicondylitis

Author(s):  Miller DeWayne, Vann Pat, Hudson Sonora

Issue:  Nov/Dec 1999 - Compounding for Arthritis Patients
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Abstract:  The authors present two case reports of successful treatment of patients with epicondylitis using dexamethasone delivered by iontophoresis and/or phonophoresis. The first involves a 52-year-old golfer with a diagnosis of severe, chronic right lateral epicondylitis with some tearing. He was treated for 9 weeks, with three visits to physical therapy each week, which involved iontophoresis with desamethasone sodium phosphate solution, moist heat, phonophoresis with dexamethasone USP and massage. Treatment also included exercise, which the patient performed once at his therapy sessions and twice independently at home, applying an ice pack after each series of exercises. His recovery was excellent, with all bruising and swelling resolved and good strength and motion, enabling him to resume normal activities of daily living. In the second case report, the patient worked on a manufacturing production line and presented with left-wrist tendinitis due to work-related activities. She was treated for 2 weeks with three visits per week that included iontophoresis with dexamethasone sodium phosphate solution, moist heat and ultrasound. Exercises were performed once at therapy sessions and twice at home, followed by deep-friction massage and ice to the affected area. The patient had improved after 2 weeks but required another week of treatment. At that time, she experienced 85% improvement and reported very little numbness and tingling in her forearm and hand. The authors conclude that delivery of dexamethasone via iontophoresis and/or phonophoresis appears to increase circulation to the injured area, facilitating recovery.

Related Keywords: dexamethasone, phonophoresis, cortisone, tendinitis, hockey player, iontophoresis, dexamethasone, PLO gel


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