Prevalence of lateral epicondylosis in veteran manual wheelchair users participating in adaptive sports

Andrea K. Cyr, Berdale S. Colorado, Michael J. Uihlein, Kristin L. Garlanger, Sergey S. Tarima, Kenneth Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Determine the prevalence of lateral epicondylosis (LE) of the dominant elbow in manual wheelchair users based on ultrasound assessment and physical exam. Design: Prospective, cross-sectional. Setting: National Veteran Wheelchair Games 2018 and 2019 (event medical services). Participants: Manual wheelchair users who attended the National Veteran Wheelchair Games (n = 87). Interventions: Participants completed a questionnaire then underwent an ultrasound assessment and a physical exam of their dominant arm evaluating for common extensor tendinopathy (CET) or clinically LE. Main Outcome Measure: Prevalence of CET diagnosed by ultrasound criteria was compared with other diagnostic criteria with MaNemar test for paired binary data. Results: Forty-six percent (N = 40) of participants met diagnostic criteria for CET by ultrasound assessment and 17% (N = 15) of participants met criteria for LE based on physical exam. These values are dramatically higher than what has been reported in the able-bodied population where the prevalence is estimated to be <2%. Age and number of years of wheelchair use were significant predictors of ultrasound diagnosis of LE (P = 0.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.11) and (P = 0.05, 95% CI 1.00–1.09), respectively. Association analysis based on odds ratio and CI found no association between ultrasound findings suggestive of LE with regular adaptive sport participation greater than 1.5 h per week. Conclusion: Compared to able-bodied population, there is an increased prevalence of both CET and LE in manual wheelchair users based on either ultrasound assessment or physical exam. CET is associated with increased age and increased years using a manual wheelchair. There is no association between the diagnosis of LE and participation in adaptive sport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • Adaptive sport
  • Lateral epicondylosis
  • Ultrasound
  • Wheelchair user


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