We conducted a prospective, randomised, controlled trial of 45 patients (47 elbows), with tennis elbow, who underwent either a formal open release or a percutaneous tenotomy. All patients had pre- and post-operative assessment using the Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scoring system. Both groups were followed up for a minimum of 12 months. Statistical analyses using the Mann-Whitney U test and repeated measured ANOVA showed significant improvements for patient satisfaction (p = 0.012), time to return to work (p = 0.0001), improvements in DASH score (p = 0.001) and improvement in sporting activities (p = 0.046) in the percutaneous group. Those patients undergoing a percutaneous release returned to work on average three weeks earlier and improved significantly more quickly than those undergoing an open procedure. The percutaneous procedure is a quicker and simpler procedure to undertake and produces significantly better results.