Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow

One of the most common sports injuries is literally named for a specific sport, but you can suffer the same injury doing any number of activities. Tennis Elbow affects between one and two percent of the population every year, causing pain, loss of range of motion, and an inability to play sports or even complete normal daily tasks.

What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis Elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a muscle strain and overuse injury that causes inflammation of the tendons in your forearm where they attach to the bones in your elbow. In most cases, the extensor tendon has been injured or has become inflamed.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
Tennis Elbow pain will be concentrated around the bony bump at the point of your elbow, and may radiate down into your forearm and hand. You may also experience weakness when you try to do things like shaking hands, holding a coffee cup, turning a doorknob, or picking up a tool.

Causes of Tennis Elbow
This injury is caused by repetitive motions, like a backhand stroke with a tennis racquet. You can also get Tennis Elbow from repetitive motion if you work with your hands as a painter, carpenter, plumber, butcher, or cook. You can also develop this condition on your dominant side if you spend hours at a computer using a keyboard and mouse.

Treatment for Tennis Elbow
Conservative treatment like R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) combined with OTC painkillers is the usual first remedy in cases of Tennis Elbow. If these don’t work, Dr. Strasburger may recommend arthroscopic surgery to address damage inside the elbow joint. The extensor tendon can be repaired, and damaged tissue removed. Bracing is usually recommended after surgery, and physical therapy can aid in recovering range of motion.

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