Tennis Elbow Specialist

Tennis Elbow Q & A

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis Elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse. While playing tennis can cause this condition, many other sports and activities that are not sport related can put the elbow at risk for this problem.

How do I know I have tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is inflammation or microtearing of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. These muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse and repetitive motion leading to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. Typically motions such as carrying a briefcase or pouring a cup of coffee can cause pain over the outside of the elbow. You may have pain or burning over the outside of the elbow with diminished grip strength as well.

Do I need x-rays or an MRI?

Typically, x-rays or MRIs are not necessary to diagnose tennis elbow. However, your physician may decide to order additional diagnostic studies as needed.

What are the treatment options for tennis elbow?

Physical Therapy: Specific exercises are helpful for strengthening the muscles of the forearm. Your therapist may also perform ultrasound, ice massage, and stretching techniques to improve muscle and tendon healing.

Brace: Using a brace centered over the back of your forearm may help relieve symptoms

Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications may be used to reduce pain and swelling

Steroid Injections: Steroids, such as cortisone, may be injected to alleviate symptoms

Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP): PRP is a biologic treatment that can improve the biologic environment of the tissue. This involves drawing a small amount of blood and centrifuging it. The platelet concentrate is then injected into the affected area.

Surgical treatment: Surgery is indicated if your pain does not respond to other non-operative treatments

In many cases, successful treatment can be reached in a few weeks with a full return to sports and activities. At Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, the physicians and therapists work together to ensure each patient achieves a successful recovery.

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