Learn about tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, with Dr. Brian Gruber, MD, MBA, board certified orthopedic surgeon and founder of Integrated Orthopedics in Phoenix, Arizona.
In this video, Dr. Gruber, discusses tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is a very common condition, and Dr. Gruber typically sees 5-7 patients a week who have symptoms of tennis elbow. Tennis elbow occurs most frequently in active people. Tennis elbow is on the outside, or lateral side, of the elbow. When the tendon become inflamed, it is termed tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow primarily is a clinical diagnosis. Pain with resisted wrist extension is one of the classic diagnostic findings with tennis elbow. Tennis elbow can happen over time or come on suddenly.
Tennis elbow is initially treated conservatively. Early treatment includes an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. As discomfort with tennis elbow increases, we will do guided injections of steroid. Ultrasound guided steroid injections for tennis elbow work very well and work quickly.
Most people will recover from tennis elbow with conservative treatment interventions. However, there will be a handful of people who do not recover with steroid injections for tennis elbow. If surgery for tennis elbow is indicated, we will obtain and MRI to see what is happening with the tendon.
Tennis elbow surgery is an outpatient procedure, is minimally invasive and takes about 20 minutes to perform. We open the EDC tendon and book it open and then see the ECB tendon – this is the problem tendon. We excise the ECB tendon from the bone. The ECB tendon is removed and we don’t miss it.
Patients will be in a removable brace after surgery for tennis elbow. A full recovery from tenis elbow is between 2-3 months. Physical therapy is started between 2-3 weeks post tennis elbow surgery. However, normal activities can be resumed rather quickly after tennis elbow surgery.
Again, the vast majority of tennis elbow injuries can be treated conservatively. Regenerative medicine is an exciting area of orthopedic medicine where we see potential for tennis elbow treatment and recovery.
Learn more about Brian Gruber, MD, MBA, board certified orthopedic surgeon, at Integrated Orthopedics’ website – www.integratedorthopedicsaz.com.