Tennis Elbow Injury & Surgery
Tendons, ligaments, and muscles join together at the elbow joint. Your forearm muscles, connecting at the joint, reach all the way down to the fingers and wrist. These muscles attach at the elbow through the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB) tendon – which is secured to the joint by the Lateral Epicondyle.
Lateral Epicondylitis, or “Tennis elbow,” occurs when the ECRB becomes inflamed. Overuse of the tendon, often caused by movement associated with racket sports, can create pain and tenderness.
Tennis elbow symptoms can inhibit movement and reach of the arm. The injury can induce pain sensations around the joint, as well as weakened grip and strength. Attempting to grip tools, like a racket, can become difficult. Playing sports like tennis or racquetball become hard to do. If these symptoms occur, it is important patients contact their physician.
Non-surgical treatment including medications, exercise, and rest may alleviate initial symptoms. If the pain or grip does not improve within a few months, elbow surgery may then provide relief. During an operation, the inflamed muscle is removed. Healthy muscle is reattached to the Lateral Epicondyle.
An arthroscopic technique may be used during your procedure to lesson your recovery time. Small incisions can limit the risk of infection and nerve damage.
After a tennis elbow procedure, patients may take 6 months for recovery. During recovery, a splint will keep the arm immobilized. Surgical sutures, as well as the splint, are usually removed after the first week. An exercise regimen is then implemented until patients regain strength and grip in their arm.