Orthopedic Treatment For Tennis Elbow

by Administrator 21. July 2014 12:35

Tennis elbow is a common problem that often brings people and especially players to orthopedic centers. Tennis elbow is known as lateral epicondylitis, in medical terms, and it is a painful condition which leads to inflammation of the tendons and muscles in the elbow. Often players who play tennis and racquet sports suffer from this condition but there are many other activities and sports that put one at risk.

Causes

The major cause of tennis elbow is the overuse of the muscles, and tendons of forearm and elbow. The repeated activities cause strain on the elbow tendons and this produces pain. Although, sports persons are more susceptible to Tennis Elbow but anyone who does manual work is at risk. The exact cause of the problem is debatable; however, doctors often suggest that pressure and overuse causes tear of muscles and the repeated activity inhibits the healing, weakens the injured areas and causes pain. Some other causes include micro tears of muscles and tendons, and arthritis of the underlying joint. Often the decreased blood flow causes weakness and damage to the tendons.

Symptoms

The symptoms develop gradually in Tennis elbow. The main symptoms include

  • Pain that spreads down the forearm
  • Tenderness of the elbow
  • Tightening of forearm muscles
  • Stiffness and difficulty in straightening elbow
  • More pain on bending wrist backwards, holding something, straightening elbow and turning palm upward

Diagnosis

An orthopedic doctor thoroughly examines the elbow and the forearm. He/she may enquire about the past medical history of the patient and check the current symptoms. He may also try to know about the social history of the patient, and the occupational and recreational activities. Besides a physical examination, some tests are also carried out to confirm Tennis Elbow such as an X-ray or in extreme cases a MRI test.

Treatment

Depending upon the condition, both non-surgical and surgical methods of treatment can be effective. The patient is advised to give proper rest to the arm. Doctors often administer non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines for treating pain and inflammation. The physical therapy is often quite effective and with the help of certain exercises, the muscles are strengthened. The therapist may also offer ice massage, ultrasound and other muscle-stimulating techniques to heal the muscles. To rest the muscles and tendons, the patient may be advised to use braces. If non-surgical methods do not work, then surgical methods are used which involves removing damaged muscles and reattaching healthy muscles back to bone.

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