Are you suddenly having trouble opening jars, turning keys, or holding onto your dog’s leash? You might have tennis elbow, an overuse injury that occurs when tiny tears form in the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle (the bony bump on the outside of your elbow). In addition to a weakened grip, pain and burning sensations can develop as the tendons become increasingly inflamed.
While tennis elbow frequently affects athletes who play racquet sports, it can potentially develop in anyone who performs tasks that involve repetitive forearm muscle contractions, such as typing, gardening, painting, hammering, and playing a musical instrument. So, whether you’re a tennis player or not, you should have your tennis elbow symptoms promptly checked out by an orthopedic elbow specialist at Premier Bone & Joint Centers in Gillette, Wyoming.
How Is Tennis Elbow Treated?
To confirm your diagnosis and rule out other causes of your symptoms, such as wrist arthritis, we will ask about your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and possibly order imaging studies to check for nerve compression around your elbow. If we determine that you have tennis elbow, we will suggest nonsurgical therapies to manage your symptoms, such as:
- Resting your arm and avoiding activities that worsen your discomfort
- Wearing a splint or brace to reduce stress on your injured tendon
- Applying ice packs to your painful elbow to reduce swelling
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications orally or by injection to relieve pain and swelling
- Performing targeted stretches and exercises to enhance the flexibility and strength of your forearm muscles
If your tennis elbow symptoms do not improve with conservative treatment, we may suggest lateral epicondyle release surgery to relieve tension on your extensor tendon. In many cases, we can perform this minimally invasive procedure on an outpatient basis.
At Premier Bone & Joint Centers, you can explore your treatment options for tennis elbow with a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon. Contact us today to request an appointment at our satellite clinic in Gillette, WY.