Tennis elbow is a painful condition that is caused by overuse of the elbow. This condition received its name due to its commonality among those who play tennis and racquet sports.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is an injury that occurs when tendons become overloaded, resulting in inflammation, degeneration, and possible tearing. It commonly affects tennis players who grip their racquets tightly, but anyone can develop this condition. Tennis elbow most commonly affects your dominant arm but may affect both arms.

Common symptoms of tennis elbow include:

  • Pain when twisting or bending your arm.
  • Burning or pain on the outer elbow which may travel to the wrist.
  • A swollen elbow joint.
  • Stiffness or pain when extending the arm.
  • Weakened grip

Treatment Options

To diagnose tennis elbow, your doctor will perform a physical exam, and may also have you undergo other tests such as X-rays, imaging tests such as MRI or ultrasound, or electromyography (EMG).

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

In some cases, tennis elbow may improve on its own. However, recovery may take up to 18 months.
Non-surgical techniques that can help quicken recovery include:

  • Rest.
  • Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Physical therapy
  • Braces to take tension off of tendons and muscles.
  • Steroid injections

Surgical Treatment Options

If your tennis elbow symptoms do not improve within 6-12 months of non-surgical treatment, surgery
may be recommended. The surgical approach that is right for you will depend on many factors, including
the scope of your injury, your overall health, and your personal needs.

The most common surgical approach when it comes to tennis elbow is open surgery. This involves
creating an incision over the elbow. Arthroscopic surgery is another option. Surgery typically involves
removing the injured tendon and muscles and replacing it with healthy tendons and muscles from a
different part of your body.

His excellence and confidence helped me from the first time I met him in the Emergency Room, through 3 subsequent surgeries.


Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about non-operative and surgical treatments for tennis elbow, please contact Neaman Hand Surgery for your personal consultation. We welcome hand surgery patients from the greater Portland, Salem, and Eugene, Oregon areas.

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