An Overview of Elbow Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow)
Elbow epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, is caused by overuse and repetitive stress to the tendon attachment sites of the elbow. Both conditions cause patients to experience pain, either on the outer portion of the elbow (tennis elbow) or on the inner portion of the elbow (golfer’s elbow). The pain is typically worsened by activities involving the forearm and elbow such as shaking hands and gripping items. Both conditions typically respond to non-surgical treatment, but some Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California patients will require surgical repair. Dr. Jervis Yau, orthopedic elbow surgeon, specializes in surgical repair of medial and lateral epicondylitis in order to restore strength and function to the elbow.
What is the Treatment for Epicondylitis?
Conservative treatment measures such as ice, rest, activity modification, and stretching and strengthening exercises prove to be the mainstay treatment for medial and lateral epicondylitis. Those who fail nonsurgical treatment over time may be considered for surgical repair.
The proper surgery depends on injury severity. MRI scans are usually helpful to determine the severity of tendon injury and location. If the disease is moderate to severe, Dr. Yau will likely recommend debridement of the diseased tendon followed by reattachment of the healthy tissue to the bone. If the disease is minor, percutaneous tendon debridement may be performed under ultrasound guidance (Tenex Health System) to remove the diseased tissue.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections have also been shown in numerous studies to be helpful in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.