How is Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) Diagnosed?
Lateral epicondylitis is a clinical diagnosis based on history and physical exam. Dr. Yau will review the onset of symptoms, sports participation and occupational risk factors. If necessary, x-rays and MRI may be performed to rule out other possible injuries and assess for the severity of tendon degeneration.
How is Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) Treated?
It is estimated 80-95% of patients experience alleviated tennis elbow symptoms with conservative treatment. This typically includes a combination of activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), and physical therapy focusing on stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections have also been shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of tennis elbow.
Surgery may be indicated if symptoms do not respond to non-surgical measures within 6-12 months. Surgical intervention, also known as an elbow epicondylitis, may include percutaneous debridement of the diseased tissue under ultrasound guidance for mild to moderate tendon degeneration (Tenex Health) and open debridement and repair for more severe tendon degeneration and high-grade tears.
To learn more about lateral epicondylitis, or to discuss your tennis elbow symptoms and treatment options, please contact the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California orthopedic office of elbow specialist Dr. Jervis Yau.