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Tennis Elbow

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

Image of a person holding their elbow in pain due to tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is a common overuse injury that causes pain on the outer part of the elbow. It is most commonly seen in people who participate in activities that involve repetitive arm, wrist, and hand movements, such as tennis, but it can also occur in people who do manual labour or use computers for extended periods of time. Tennis elbow is caused by the repeated strain on the muscles and tendons in the forearm, which leads to inflammation and pain in the elbow.

Symptoms of tennis elbow include pain when gripping or lifting objects, weakness in the arm or hand, and pain when moving the elbow. The pain may be mild at first, but it can become more severe over time if left untreated. In severe cases, the pain may radiate down the arm or up into the shoulder.

Tennis elbow is typically diagnosed through a physical examination and a review of the patient's medical history. In some cases, imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans may be ordered to rule out other conditions or to get a better understanding of the extent of the injury.

Treatment for tennis elbow typically begins with non-surgical methods, such as rest, physiotherapy, and medications. Rest is important to allow the muscles and tendons in the elbow to heal, while physiotherapy can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles to reduce the risk of further injury. Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

If non-surgical methods are not effective, surgery may be recommended. There are several different surgical options for treating tennis elbow, including:

  • Elbow decompression surgery: This procedure involves removing the damaged tissue to relieve pressure on the elbow.

  • Elbow tendon repair surgery: This procedure involves repairing the damaged tendons in the elbow.

  • Elbow tendon transfer surgery: This procedure involves transferring a healthy tendon from another part of the body to the elbow to replace the damaged tendon.

Recovery from tennis elbow surgery typically involves a period of rest followed by physiotherapy



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