"Tennis elbow" is the common term for the inflammation of the outside of the elbow due to overuse of the arm and forearm muscles. Although it is called "tennis elbow," less than 5 percent of people who are diagnosed with this condition actually get it from playing tennis. Anyone who engages in any activity that requires repeated strain and pressure on the wrist, forearm, and elbow may develop this condition. Its counterpart, "golfer’s elbow," occurs on the inside of the elbow.
Pain and swelling on the outside area of the elbow is a pretty good indication that you are experiencing lateral epicondylitis. Pain associated with this condition will become more severe while gripping, squeezing, or during any activity that involves extending the wrist.
Most people who suffer from this condition are aware of what activities they engage in that increase the pain. Lateral epicondylitis is almost always caused by repeated strain on the tendons. This strain does not necessarily have to involve moving heavy objects or activities that require a strong grip. Even relatively light-weight tasks will cause inflammation if done repeatedly. Age is often a factor, as tendons lose elasticity as we get older, and are more prone to damage. Previous injury to the area may also contribute to tennis elbow.
Treating lateral epicondylitis usually involves a period of rest from activities that cause it. This may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on the severity of the symptoms. Hot/cold treatments, anti-inflammatory medication, splints and braces are typically all that is necessary. Our doctors will work with you to modify your occupational, athletic or leisure routines to reduce the likelihood of future flare-ups. Physical therapy and strengthening exercises are also very effective treatments.
Wrist Surgery is rarely necessary, though it can be helpful in cases where physical deformity or excess scar tissue from a previous injury may be contributing factors.
The elbow is a fairly complex joint, and there are several conditions that can cause elbow pain. An accurate diagnosis is necessary before successful treatment can begin.
If you live in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area and think you may be suffering from lateral epicondylitis, please contact the Hayes Hand Center for a tennis elbow consultation today.
Hayes Hand Center Disclaimer: Hayes Hand Center offers hand surgery, arm surgery, and wrist surgery to patients in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area.
This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice.
For more information about tennis elbow, wrist surgery or our hand surgery procedures,
please contact our experienced hand surgeon at Dr. Hayes Hand Center, to schedule your consultation
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