Tennis Elbow is a painful condition of a tendon at its attachment to the normal bump that is on the outside of everyone’s’ elbow. The bump is called the lateral epicondyle and is a part of the long bone that goes from the shoulder to the elbow.
The other end of the tendon is connected to muscles that move the wrist. Wrist motion can be painful in a severe case of tennis elbow. But the most significant pain is always directly over the lateral epicondyle.
There are several treatment options for tennis elbow that your orthopaedic surgeon, who is skilled in the care of hand and arm conditions, may suggest. These include activity limitation, bracing, oral medications such as steroids and anti-inflammatory pills, steroid injection, and physical therapy. Platelet Rich Plasma injection has been used as a treatment. However, this injection has not yet received widespread acceptance.
Surgery may be considered if several months of treatment do not adequately alleviate the pain.
What are the Causes of Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow can occur secondary to direct trauma. Many people report symptoms after striking the elbow. Repetitive activities such as chopping or turning wrenches can lead to tennis elbow. Sometimes a quick forceful twisting motion of the arm can be a cause. In rare circumstances, Tennis Elbow can be associated with a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. It is also common for tennis elbow to occur with no identifiable cause. Most cases are diagnosed in people between the ages of 30 and 50.
The pain associated with tennis elbow can radiate from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and wrist, or up the arm. In severe cases, it may become difficult to perform everyday tasks such as shaking hands, turning a doorknob, or holding a cup of coffee.
Often the symptoms of Tennis Elbow develop gradually and worsen with activity. But the pain can begin suddenly with a forceful activity or trauma.