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Tennis Elbow Treatment in Glendale, CA

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the common extensor tendon on the lateral (outside) aspect of the elbow.  It leads to lateral sided elbow pain with difficulty gripping due to pain and weakness.   It is usually from overuse and is the most common cause of elbow pain.  Lateral epicondylitis is commonly seen in tennis players though anyone can suffer from this condition.  This area has poor blood flow, so small injuries to the tendon through day-to-day use do not heal. Over time, the tendon structure changes from healthy normal tendon to scar tissue.  This chronic, non healing tendon problem is the cause of the pain and dysfunction. 

Diagnosis is made with physical exam.  Tenderness over the lateral epicondyle of the elbow and pain reproduced with wrist extension are common findings.  X-rays are typically normal.  MRI scans can show partial tearing of the tendon and inflammation. 

Lateral epicondylitis is typically treated successfully with non-operative treatment.  Rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, and a wrist brace are the first line treatment. 

If all non-operative treatment fails, surgery is performed.  This is done as an outpatient.  Surgery takes about 45 minutes.  A small incision is made over the lateral side of the elbow. The tendon is incised, and the unhealthy tendon tissue is removed.  The healthy tendon is the sewn back together and reattached to the bone with a small suture anchor.   The elbow is placed into a splint for about 1 week follow by a wrist brace for an additional 6 weeks.   PT is initiated at 1 week post op with a return to normal activity around 3 months post operatively. 

Contact Glendale Orthopedics today to get help for your tennis elbow treatment.

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