What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is inflammation of the forearm muscle tendons at their insertion on the lateral (outside) part of the elbow. Tennis elbow presents as pain and tenderness directly over the lateral epicondyle, a palpable bony bump. Accompanying symptoms may include weakness, numbness, and stiffness. Tennis elbow makes it difficult for patients to grab objects, make a fist, shake hands, and/or turn doorknobs and food container tops. The cause of tennis elbow is overuse. Sports and activities that increase the risk of tennis elbow include:
- Manual labor
Fellowship trained and board-certified Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey (OIOCJ) specialists diagnose and treat tennis elbow. Prescribed treatment options meet the needs of patients.
How is Tennis Elbow Treated?
Customized treatment plans include multiple treatment options. Rest and ice are very effective. Rest gives inflamed tendons a chance to calm down. Ice speeds up the process. OIOCJ specialists give patients specific instructions regarding exactly how long to rest and how and when to apply ice. Other treatment options include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Oral and topical medications. NSAIDs are available in over-the-counter and prescription strengths.
- Bracing. A removal brace may be worn as needed to take pressure off the forearm tendons.
- Physical therapy. OIOCJ approved physical therapists give patients exercises to decrease symptoms and prevent tennis elbow from returning.
- Injections. An injection of steroid and numbing medications quickly decreases pain. In some cases, platelet-rich plasma injections may be used.
OIOCJ specialists always create a treatment plan that ensures tennis elbow does not return. Patients return to sports and normal activities pain-free and without worry. To schedule your appointment with an OIOCJ specialist, call 732-276-4334 or visit our contact page.