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Elbows General Treatments

Which Treatment for Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) is Right for Me?

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Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a painful medical condition that is caused when the tendons in your elbow become inflamed and overworked. Despite its name, many people get tennis elbow without ever playing the sport. Any repetitious motion of the arm and wrist that is performed almost every day can potentially cause tennis elbow. This condition is also commonly called lateral epicondylitis.

It is very easy to know if you are currently suffering from tennis elbow. The pain will radiate on the outside of the elbow, and it may also travel down the forearm to the wrist. This will make it very difficult to turn doorknobs, shake hands and hold round objects. Painters, plumbers, cooks and recreational racket sport players are at a much higher risk of developing tennis elbow because of the repetitive stress placed on the hand, wrist and forearm.

Treating your tennis elbow in a timely manner is the best way to quickly eliminate the pain. Ignoring your painful symptoms will only make the problem get worse over time. If you are suffering from tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) or if you suspect you may have the condition, then it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

In the vast majority of cases, we start with conservative measures. These may include changes in certain activities, anti-inflammatory medications, a brace, steroid injections, shockwave treatment and physical therapy. The exercises used in physical therapy may gradually strengthen and stretch the muscles in your forearm. Our doctor can give you recommendations on how to perform your necessary job tasks without harming your inflamed elbow tendon.

If conservative measures do not work, surgery may be the best option. Generally speaking, in order to qualify for surgery, you must have not responded to conservative treatments, and you must have had symptoms for at least six months. Surgery is considered to be the last resort for tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) sufferers. During this procedure, the problematic tendon tissue is skillfully removed. The techniques used during surgery will depend on the unique situation, but it is always an outpatient procedure and requires months of rehabilitation and physical therapy to fully recover.

During a consultation at Arora Hand Surgery, our doctor can assess your condition and come up with a personalized treatment for you that aims to relieve you of your symptoms. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in West Bloomfield, Howell, Warren, or Macomb.

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Elbows General

Understanding Tennis Elbow Treatment and Causes

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Many people diagnosed with “tennis elbow” are surprised to learn about their condition because they may not play tennis at all. In fact, most cases occur in non-tennis players! (Mayo Clinic, 2015).

Technically, it is known as lateral epicondylitis and it is when tendons that anchor the muscle to the bone in one area of the outer elbow degenerate. This degeneration creates a weakness at the point where the muscles join, and this causes pain whenever the muscles are put to use. So, you might experience pain in your wrist when you are gripping something or lifting it, and this would be due to tennis elbow.

Causes of Lateral Epicondylitis

Tennis players aren’t the only ones who can experience the discomfort of tennis elbow; it can be caused by many things. Generally, any activity that continually puts stress on the point where the tendon attaches the muscle to the outer elbow can lead to problems. Ongoing stress from grasping and swinging a tennis racket can be to blame, but so can almost any repetitive movement with a similar nature. For example, house painters, plumbers, and even butchers and weavers have often experienced tennis elbow.

It is entirely possible to have tennis elbow from a single incident of trauma to the muscle-tendon unit. For example, a hard hit to the outer elbow can cause inflammation that leads to weakening of this area, or a single instance of force or extreme stress can injure the tendons.

People of almost any age can experience it, but it is most common in those between the ages of 30 to 50.

Tennis Elbow Treatment and Signs

How can you tell if the pain you are feeling is tennis elbow? It is rare for someone with tennis elbow to feel pain with any movement of the elbow. Instead, your discomfort may range from a noticeable tenderness in the area around the elbow to a pain that occurs whenever you grip or lift. Pain tends to radiate outward from the elbow, up the arm and may even be experienced in the hand.

Any pain of this kind should be dealt with immediately, and a hand surgeon or expert should be your preferred medical provider for tennis elbow treatment. They will assess the situation and consider whether to use non-surgical treatment or to use a less conservative, surgical treatment immediately. Generally, surgery is the course chosen if the issue has left the patient incapacitated or in pain for more than six months.

Before surgical remedies are used, the patient will usually be treated with a range of options. The mildest is simply modification of activity or grip to relieve the problem and allow the tendon to strengthen. Anti-inflammatory medications, including steroid injections may be used. Braces are also considered a good approach as they support the muscle and allow healing of the tendon. Physical therapy can be useful as this will allow the area to be strengthened, and can include other modalities such as heat and ultrasound.

A last resort before surgery is shockwave treatment, though this is not always available. Surgery is used to remove the damaged tendon and trigger healing and strengthening. This would be followed up by further physical therapy to ensure full range of motion and strengthening.

The good news is that there are many ways to deal with tennis elbow, and the first step is getting in touch with your qualified hand specialist or surgeon.

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Dr. Aroras office from my first call to schedule my appointment was friendly. Walking in the first day, I felt like I was in a nice atmosphere. Dr. Arora was EXCELLENT in taking great care of my hand injury. He was gentle and very understanding to the concerns I had about my hand. His expertise was admirable and I would recommend anyone with an injury to their hand to his office to be under his care. Because of him, I have healed faster than expected and will make an 100% recovery! Thank you Dr.

Jackie S.

I first thought I was going to have to have painful injections or surgery, but Dr. Arora suggested physical therapy may do the trick. I was doubtful, but I agreed to do it. Now, my pain is gone, and with the help of an ergonomic keyboard at work to keep my hands in the correct position, I am virtually pain free. The therapy strengthened my wrists and shoulders, and built more flexibility into my wrists.

Jerry T.

My experience with this doctor was positive from the outset. Dr. Arora was kind and spent a great deal of time with me. Staff was friendly. The office was nice and bright.

Ariel G.

Very friendly and helpful Great staff!!! Doctor Arora was very professional and did great work. I was very happy with everything!

L B.