care & surgery

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Tennis Elbow / Golfer’s Elbow

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Introduction

Elbow inflammation, or Tennis elbow and Golfer’s elbow, is a painful condition that affects 1-3% of adults. The two disorders are distinguished by their location — Tennis elbow primarily affects the lateral epicondyle—the bony protrusion on the outside (lateral aspect) of the elbow, whereas Golfer’s elbow is felt at the medial epicondyle—the bony bump on the inside (medial aspect). The forearm muscles arise from these 2 bony prominances and inflammation tend to occur at their origins, resulting in pain.

These conditions tend to be caused by activities involving repetitive motions of the arm and are more common in certain groups of patients like: 

Avid tennis or golf players, affecting more commonly their dominant arm

Manual labourers working with heavy machinery

Workers e.g. factories who engage in repetitive gripping or lifting activities

Middle age patients e.g. 35-55yrs old

Signs & Symptoms

Pain

It may occur at the epicondyle (Lateral or Medial elbow) or spread from the elbow to your wrist and forearm. This may worsen with gripping, lifting heavy objects or reaching for objects

Ache or Soreness

Weaker grip 

Swelling

Over time, Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow may worsen. Patients may experience a weaker grip, ongoing discomfort, or limited range of motion in their elbow. If you are experiencing severe or prolonged discomfort, it is important to seek advice from an Orthopaedic Specialist at Total Orthopaedic Care & Surgery (TOCS).

Diagnosis & Treatment

An orthopaedic specialist (Total Orthopaedic Care & Surgery) can provide a detailed evaluation that includes taking a full history of your symptoms as well as physical examination and initial imaging tests (X-rays). Further imaging may be required, such as MRI or ultrasound.

Treatment for Tennis Elbow/Golfer’s Elbow depends on the severity of the condition and individual needs. Non-surgical (conservative) options include rest, avoidance of activities that worsen pain, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy and extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). In some cases, injections like hydrocortisone and lignocaine (H&L) and platelet rich plasma (PRP) may provide relief or stimulate healing. If these methods do not help, surgery is an option in selected patients.

Conclusion

It is important to follow your orthopaedic specialist’s instructions for treatment and rehabilitation to ensure the best possible outcome for your Tennis Elbow/Golfer’s Elbow. If you have pain or discomfort in your elbow, make sure to schedule an appointment with a qualified orthopaedic specialist at Total Orthopaedic Care & Surgery. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can be on the way to recovery soon!