Tendinitis of the elbow is often referred to as tennis elbow due to its common occurance in tennis players. Actually any sport or activity that requires gripping can cause this problem. Repetitive gripping or a sudden severe force such as a backhand shot in tennis, can cause microscopic tearing of the tendons that attach on the outside of the elbow. The body’s attempt to heal this tear results in inflammation which is the cause of tennis elbow.
Pain with gripping and lifting. Often even lifting a cup of coffee will be painful.
Ice, stretching, avoid gripping, tennis elbow strap, antiinflammatory medicine. Physical therapy is sometimes helpful for ultrasound, deep friction massage and iontophoreses. Accupuncture is reccommended in resistant cases.
Surgery is recommended in the most resistant cases after 6 months of failed non operative treatment. Traditional surgery involves the release of the involved tendon and removal of damaged tissue through a standard open surgery at the hospital. We recommend a much less invasive technique that is done in the office under local anesthesia. Patients are sent home with a band aid, and begin to use the arm almost immediately. Another new technique is currently available using arthroscopic surgery to treat this condition. This procedure is also minimally invasive, but allows the surgeon to look inside the joint and release the damaged tendon from the inside.