What is Tennis Elbow?
In medical terms tennis elbow is called either partial tearing of the common extensor tendon or lateral epicondylitis.
What causes Tennis Elbow?
In most cases tennis elbow is not caused by tennis. It is usually caused by overuse. Sometimes it can be caused by a single injury. It can happen in athletes and non-athletes, men and women, healthy and not-healthy people, young and old people. Tennis elbow is common.
What are the symptoms of Tennis Elbow?
The main symptom of tennis elbow is pain on the outside of the elbow (see picture). This pain can happen with use or at rest. Some people will even have pain at night. Tennis elbow can cause pain when doing things such as: shaking hands, grabbing something, shaving, lifting, holding a cup of coffee, brushing teeth or hair, just to name a few.
How to tell if you have Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow usually can be diagnosed by physical exam. The doctor will press right over the outside of the elbow (see picture) and if this causes pain then it is most likely tennis elbow. X-rays are needed. MRI can also be useful.
How is Tennis Elbow treated?
The treatment of tennis elbow is usually non-surgical. Physical therapy is most important. Other treatments such as cortisone injections, PRP, whole blood injections, barbotage, TENEX and others can also be helpful.
If the non-operative treatments do not work, then surgery to repair tennis elbow can help. The surgery is very simple and takes 15 minutes. It has a high success rate. However, the person cannot use their arm for 6 weeks after surgery.