Lateral epicondylitis, commonly called tennis elbow, is linked to overuse or repetitive trauma. It’s a painful condition that affects between 1% and 3% of the population, though, ironically, the vast majority of men and women who suffer from it don’t play tennis.
J. Michael Bennett, MD, PA, is a skilled orthopedic surgeon specializing in tennis elbow treatment. With offices in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas, Dr. Bennett helps men and women find relief from elbow pain and regain function in their affected arm. In this blog, he answers some frequently asked questions about tennis elbow and describes the nonsurgical and surgical options to treat it.
Who is at risk for tennis elbow?
If you are between 30 and 50 years of age, you’re in the age group of people who most often deal with tennis elbow. If your job or hobby requires you to use your arm repetitively you’re at risk. Some who often seek treatment for tennis elbow are:
- Baseball players
- Construction crew members
- Assembly line staff
Tennis elbow occurs when you tear the muscles or tendons surrounding your elbow.
What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?
Pain is the most telling symptom of tennis elbow. It typically radiates along the area where your forearm muscles and tendons attach to the bony area of the elbow. It grows slowly on the elbow’s outer area and may worsen when you shake hands, write, grip, squeeze, or lift.
How is tennis elbow treated?
Dr. Bennett takes the most conservative approach possible to treat your tennis elbow. Let’s look first at the nonsurgical solutions and then see what’s involved if you require surgery.
Some of the proven nonsurgical therapies that Dr. Bennett may recommend for you are:
- Physical therapy
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy
- Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
- Counterforce bracing
- Cortisone injections
- Anti-inflammatory medications
If these treatments don’t bring you relief or you’re still having trouble functioning, Dr. Bennett may advise surgical intervention.
If possible, minimally invasive surgery is your best bet because the risk for complications is much lower than traditional surgery, and your recovery time is accelerated. Some surgical solutions to consider are:
- Elbow arthroscopy - the use of tiny instruments and small incisions for an outpatient repair of damaged muscles and tendons
- Tenex Health TX™ procedure - the use of ultrasound to locate and extract damaged tissue
It’s best to treat tennis elbow early, so reach out to us for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. Call today, or use the online scheduling option to book at your convenience.