Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Five Things to Know about Arthroscopic Tennis Elbow Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery for tennis elbow can eliminate pain and restore range of motion to get you back on the court. At Strasburger Orthopaedics, arthroscopic surgery is one of the conservative methods Dr. Scott Strasburger recommends for tennis elbow and similar injuries.

Most cases of tennis elbow can be resolved with physical therapy, steroid injections, and other non-surgical intervention. However, some patients have too much damage to the inside of their elbow, and need it to be cleaned out and the tendon repaired to relieve their pain.

If you have chronic pain in your elbow and think you might need arthroscopic surgery, here are a few things you should know:

  1. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery. Instead of a large incision to access the areas being operated on, Dr. Strasburger makes one or more very small incisions so he can put a tiny camera in your elbow and do your surgery with tiny tools. This can make recovery time much shorter.
  2. Arthroscopic elbow surgery is typically reserved for tennis elbow and other tendon injuries due to repetitive use. Tennis elbow is caused by doing repetitive and forceful arm movements (usually from playing sports or doing manual labor) that make painful tears in the tendons in your elbow. If you suffered a fall or car accident causing direct impact trauma to the elbow, your injuries could require open elbow surgery.
  3. The most common tendons repaired during arthroscopic surgery are the outside (lateral) elbow tendons, although the inside (medial) and backside (posterior) tendons can also be targeted.
  4. Arthroscopic procedures are usually outpatient procedures, so you can go home and begin your recovery the same day. Dr. Strasburger will go over your entire treatment plan with you, from how to prep for your surgery to recovery and physical therapy to regain full range of motion and flexibility.
  5. After arthroscopic elbow surgery, many patients are fully recovered and able to return to their physical daily routine (including hard manual labor or playing sports) within 4 to 6 months. You can follow an exercise plan to help keep your arm strong and avoid reinjury. 

If other methods of curing your tennis elbow have failed, and you’re ready for a new approach, contact our office for a consultation. Dr. Strasburger can examine your elbow and let you know if you are a good candidate for arthroscopic elbow surgery.