Do you have pain and tenderness in the bony knob on the outside of your elbow? Has your grip weakened to the point that it is difficult for you to lift even a lightweight object, such as a cup of coffee or a book? These are classic signs of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), a painful condition that you may develop even if you’ve never swung a racquet in your life. Tennis elbow can result from any repetitive arm or wrist motions that stress the forearm tendons. Although this can occur while playing tennis, it can also occur during many other activities, such as painting, typing, and playing a musical instrument.
If you suspect that you have tennis elbow, you can find out for sure with the help of a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic specialist at Premier Bone & Joint Centers. We see patients at several convenient locations in Wyoming, including a satellite clinic in Casper. After examining your painful elbow and ruling out a fracture, we can provide suggestions on how to relieve your pain and swelling as your injury heals.
Tennis elbow symptoms often improve on their own, although it can take up to two years for the pain to completely go away. In the meantime, conservative treatment may help, such as:
- Rest and activity modifications – Any activities that cause or contribute to the pain should be temporarily avoided.
- Bracing – A special tennis elbow strap can be worn to stabilize the upper forearm and reduce pressure on the damaged elbow tendons.
- Physical therapy – Targeted exercises can strengthen the muscles that support the elbow.
- A heating pad – Heat applications can soothe pain and swelling in and around the elbow.
- Medications – Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve painful inflammation.
- Corticosteroid injections – A powerful anti-inflammatory medication can be injected directly into the inflamed area of the elbow.
At Premier Bone & Joint Centers, we generally view surgery as a last resort treatment to be considered only for addressing severe pain that does not respond to several weeks of nonsurgical therapy. Typically performed in an outpatient setting, tennis elbow surgery involves relieving pressure on the injured tendon and repairing damaged tissue.
At Premier Bone & Joint Centers, you can explore your treatment options for tennis elbow with a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic specialist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our satellite clinic in Casper, WY.