Tennis elbow

  • About tennis elbow

    Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. It most commonly occurs in non-tennis players, but is named “tennis elbow” due to the first report of the condition in lawn tennis players. It is due to wear and small tears in a tendon on the outer side of the elbow. It can start after repetitive excessive activity such as gardening or racquet sports, however it may come on spontaneously. Where symptoms occur over the inner aspect of the elbow it is referred to as medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow. If you think you have tennis elbow, call The Cheshire Shoulder and Elbow Clinic to make an appointment to have a comprehensive assessment of your elbow and treatment started.

  • Symptoms of tennis elbow

    The main symptom is pain and tenderness over the outer aspect of the elbow, which may radiate to the forearm. This can be exacerbated by certain movements e.g.: lifting objects or turning a door handle. Occasionally repetitive movements in the workplace are associated, for example typing at a keyboard. An ultrasound or an MRI scan may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis.

  • Tennis elbow surgery

    Modifying activities to avoid those that make your symptoms worse is simple but very effective. Painkilling tablets and application of ice packs over the area can ease the symptoms. A clasp brace is useful in some patients and you will be assessed for this in the clinic. Injections into the painful area have also been shown to be effective. Physiotherapy has a key role in all patients with tennis elbow.

    Surgery is considered only if all other measures have failed. Approximately 75-80% of patients will get better with treatments not requiring surgery. Surgery is performed as a daycase (coming into hospital on the morning of surgery and going home the same day). Either keyhole (arthroscopic) or open procedures are used and the pros and cons of these will be discussed in detail with you during your consultation.

If you think you have tennis elbow or would like further assessment of your condition to see if you would benefit from Platelet Rich Plasma injections, call The Cheshire Shoulder and Elbow Clinic for an appointment.