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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 68

of 'Overview of the management of overuse (chronic) tendinopathy'

Less promising results with sclerosing ethoxysclerol injections for midportion achilles tendinopathy: a retrospective study.
van Sterkenburg MN, de Jonge MC, Sierevelt IN, van Dijk CN
Am J Sports Med. 2010;38(11):2226. Epub 2010 Jul 2.
BACKGROUND: Local injections of the sclerosing substance polidocanol (Ethoxysclerol) have shown good clinical results in patients with chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy. After training by the inventors of the technique, sclerosing Ethoxysclerol injections were applied on a group of patients in our center.
HYPOTHESIS: Sclerosing Ethoxysclerol injections will yield good results in the majority of patients.
STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.
METHODS: In 113 patients (140 tendons) with Achilles tendinopathy, we identified 62 patients (70 tendons) showing neovascularization on color Doppler ultrasound. Fifty-three Achilles tendons (48 patients) were treated with sclerosing Ethoxysclerol injections, with intervals of 6 weeks and a maximum of 5 sessions. Treatment was completed when neovascularization or pain had disappeared, or when there was no positive treatment effect after 3 to 4 sessions.
RESULTS: Forty-eight patients (20 women and 28 men) with a median age of 45 years, (range, 33-68 years) were treated. Median symptom duration was 23 months (range, 3-300 months). Fifty-three tendons were treated with a median of 3 sessions of Ethoxysclerol injections. Six weeks after the last injection, 35% of patients had no complaints, 9% had minimal symptoms, 42% were the same, and 14% had more complaints. Women were 3.8 times (95% confidence interval: 1.1-13.8) more likely to have unsatisfactory outcome than men. Pain correlated positively with neovessels on ultrasound (P<.01). At 2.7 to 5.1 year follow-up, 53% had received additional (surgical/conservative) treatment; 3 of these patients (7.5%) still had complaints of Achilles tendinopathy. In 6 patients, complaints that were still present 6 weeks after treatment had resolved spontaneously by final follow-up.
CONCLUSION: Our study did not confirm the high beneficial value of sclerosing neovascularization in patients with midportion Achilles tendinopathy. Despite the retrospective design of our study, we consider it important to stress that injection of Ethoxysclerol may not be as promising as was thought.
Academic Medical Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, G4-262, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. m.n.vansterkenburg@amc.uva.nl