Treatment Options:

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Description

Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is inflammation of the tendons of the muscles that extend the wrist. The pain is felt where the tendons attach to the bony prominence on the outer aspect of the elbow. This bony prominence is called the lateral epicondyle. Inflammation of these areas is described as epicondylitis.

What are the causes?

Lateral epicondylitis generally occurs as a result of overuse or trauma. Patients that have occupations that require them to repeatedly extend the wrist (carpenters, artists, typists) are at risk for developing lateral epicondylitis. Athletes that play racquet sports are at the highest risk for developing pain on the lateral elbow. When a tendon is overused, microscopic tears occur in the tendon.

What are the symptoms?

Lateral epicondylitis causes pain on the bony prominence on the outer aspect of the elbow. Pain when making a fist or resisted wrist extension is also common and associated with strength loss.

How is it diagnosed?

Your surgeon will perform a thorough history and physical exam, which typically includes X-rays. Pain over the epicondyle and with resisted wrist extension are hallmarks of lateral epicondylitis. X-rays are typically normal. MRI may be helpful to determine if the pain is from inflammation or a larger tear in the tendon.

How is it treated?

Non-operative

Non-operative treatment of lateral epicondylitis is usually the first line of treatment. Your surgeon may recommend anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy, activity modification and/or cryotherapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation. An injection may help resolve the symptoms.

Operative

If non-operative treatment fails to relieve the pain, your surgeon may suggest surgery. In cases where the tendons become detached, surgery is indicated. Your surgeon will make an incision over the injured tendon, remove the injured tissue, and stimulate the area to heal by drilling into, or removing, a section of bone. This allows bone marrow containing blood cells that assist in the healing process to fill the operative site. The tendon is then repaired to the bone with sutures and anchors. Postoperative medication and physical therapy is at your surgeon’s discretion.

Treatment Options:

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Description

Medial epicondylitis, or golfer's elbow, is inflammation of the tendons of the muscles that flex the wrist. The pain is felt where the tendons attach to the bony prominence on the inner aspect of the elbow. This bony prominence is called the medial epicondyle. Inflammation of these areas is described as epicondylitis.

What are the causes?

Medial epicondylitis generally occurs as a result of overuse or trauma. Patients that have occupations that require them to repeatedly flex the wrist (carpenters, artists, typists) or are at risk for developing medial epicondylitis. Athletes, such as golfers, baseball players or those that play racquet sports, may develop pain on the medial elbow as well. When a tendon is overused, microscopic tears occur in the tendon.

What are the symptoms?

Medial epicondylitis causes pain on the bony prominence on the inner aspect of the elbow. Pain when making a fist or resisted wrist flexion is also common and associated with strength loss.

How is it diagnosed?

Your surgeon will perform a thorough history and physical exam, which typically includes X-rays. Pains over the epicondyle and with resisted wrist flexion are hallmarks of medial epicondylitis. X-rays are typically normal. MRI may be helpful to determine if the pain is from inflammation or a larger tear in the tendon.

How is it treated?

Non-operative

Non-operative treatment of medial epicondylitis is usually the first line of treatment. Your surgeon may recommend anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy, activity modification and/or cryotherapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation. An injection may help resolve the symptoms.

Operative

If non-operative treatment fails to relieve the pain, your surgeon may suggest surgery. In cases where the tendons become detached, surgery is indicated. Your surgeon will make an incision over the injured tendon, remove the injured tissue, and stimulate the area to heal by drilling into, or removing, a section of bone. This allows bone marrow containing blood cells that assist in the healing process to fill the operative site. The tendon is then repaired to the bone with sutures and anchors. Postoperative medication and physical therapy is at your surgeon’s discretion.

Treatment Options:

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Description

Olecranon bursa is a thin, protective layer of tissue found between the skin and the olecranon (tip of the elbow). Bursa exists in an effort to protect the olecranon and triceps tendon. Bursa can become inflamed and thickened, resulting in symptoms of olecranon bursitis.

What are the causes?

Bursitis generally occurs as a result of overuse or trauma. Patients that have occupations that require them to lean on the tip of the elbow (aka –“Students Elbow”) or experience a direct fall on the tip of the elbow can cause olecranon bursitis. A bone spur on the olecranon from triceps tendon injury or arthritis may predispose a patient to forming olecranon bursitis.

What are the symptoms?

Bursitis causes pain (if related to trauma). Patients may experience a large, fluid-filled pouch on the tip of the elbow. Over time, the fluid may harden/calcify or become infected (red, hot).

How is it diagnosed?

Your surgeon will perform a thorough history and physical exam, which typically includes X-rays. The tip of the elbow may be painful and the collection of fluid near the olecranon is diagnostic. X-rays may demonstrate a bone spur on the olecranon.

How is it treated?

Non-operative

Non-operative treatment of bursitis is usually the first line of treatment. Your surgeon may recommend anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy, joint aspiration (fluid drainage), compression pad, a sling and/or cryotherapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation. An injection may help resolve the symptoms.

Operative

If non-operative treatment fails to relieve the pain, your surgeon may suggest surgery. A minimally-invasive incision can be used to remove the inflamed and thickened bursa. Postoperative medication and physical therapy is at your surgeon’s discretion.