Medial and Lateral Epicondylitis2016-10-12T12:39:59-04:00

Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow

Elbow pain and arthritis

What is Tennis Elbow?

“Tennis elbow” is a common term for a condition caused by overuse of arm, forearm, and hand muscles that results in elbow pain. You don’t have to play tennis to get this, but the term came into use because it can be a significant problem for some tennis players.

Tennis elbow is caused by either abrupt or subtle injury of the muscle and tendon area around the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow specifically involves the area where the muscles and tendons of the forearm attach to the outside bony area (called the lateral epicondyle) of the elbow.

Sideline Orthopedics offers treatment for both medial and lateral epicondylitis, commonly known respectively as golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow. Epicondylitis is a condition on and around the bony prominence on the outside of the elbow in which the tendons around the elbow joint have become irritated or inflamed causing pain.

Symptoms of Medial and Lateral Epicondylitis

Both golfer’s and tennis elbow typically result from overuse or repetitive arm movements that cause tiny tears (microtears) in the tendons attaching the muscles in the forearm to the epicondyles. Over time, with repeated use and no allowance for rest periods, the tendons become irritated, inflamed and very painful. Symptoms of golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow include:

  • Pain slowly increasing around the outside of the elbow.
  • Pain is worse when shaking hands or squeezing objects.
  • Pain is made worse by stabilizing or moving the wrist with force (lifting, using tools, opening jars, or even handling simple utensils).

Treatment Options for Medial and Lateral Epicondylitis

There are many treatment modalities for golfer’s and tennis elbow. As this injury is usually related to overuse, the first course of action will be rest, allowing the micro tears to heal. Other treatment options include:

  • Evaluation of technique and equipment: possible modifications can alleviate undue stress.
  • Frequent breaks during play.
  • Avoiding heavy lifting, pulling or pushing.
  • Icing the affected area for 20 minutes three times per day.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication to relieve inflammation and pain.
  • Local steroid injections to decrease inflammation.
  • Counterforce brace.
  • Wrist brace or splint worn during sleep to relax the tendon.
  • Physical therapy to rehabilitate the injury and maintain strength and endurance.
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection to stimulate tendon healing.

For cases that have not improved after several months of therapy, surgery can provide relief.

Our goal at Sideline Orthopedics is to promptly and accurately diagnose your injury and begin a treatment plan that will get you back in the game. Following your doctor’s instructions throughout your rehabilitation will make your recovery more successful.

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