Tennis elbow is a common repetitive strain injury, but you don't need to be a tennis player to develop the condition. If you have symptoms of tennis elbow, Wisconsin River Orthopaedics can help. At the practice in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, the board-certified orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapy team use a range of techniques, including surgery where necessary, to restore elbow function and ease pain. For prompt, effective treatment of tennis elbow, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, arises when tendinitis develops in the joint. The tendons become inflamed, causing elbow pain and loss of strength in your arm.
The inflammation that causes tennis elbow results from repeated contractions of your forearm muscles, the ones you use when straightening your arm and lifting your hand and wrist. Over time, these repetitive movements create tiny tears in the tendons that trigger an inflammatory response.
You don't have to play racquet sports to get tennis elbow. Anyone who makes repetitive movements with their arms over prolonged periods, from plumbers to painters, could develop this condition.
Tennis elbow pain originates at the bony lump on your outer elbow, where the tendons attach your forearm muscles to the bone. The pain may spread along your forearm and into your wrist.
The pain and weakness tennis elbow causes can make it hard to perform everyday tasks that involve gripping, such as shaking hands, opening doors, and holding objects.
If you rest your arm and stop making the movements that caused the condition, your tennis elbow may get better on its own. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can also help.
The sports medicine experts at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics offer effective treatments for tennis elbow if self-care measures aren't working. They might suggest you undergo an evaluation of how you're using your arm, as poor technique is often an underlying issue.
The team's physical therapists can help by stretching and strengthening your muscles. They may also fit you with a forearm strap or brace to relieve stress on the inflamed tissue.
For most patients, the Wisconsin River Orthopaedics team finds non-invasive treatments are all that's required. In some cases, they might propose you undergo a procedure like ultrasonic tenotomy (TENEX) if your tennis elbow pain isn't improving.
TENEX involves your provider inserting a special needle into the damaged tendon using ultrasound guidance. They deliver ultrasonic energy that makes the needle vibrate so fast it liquifies the damaged tissue, which your provider then extracts using suction.
If your tennis elbow symptoms still don’t improve after 6-12 months of non-surgical treatment, your provider can operate to remove the damaged tendon. Following the procedure, you need to undergo a physical therapy program to help the tendon heal properly and restore function to your arm.
For expert resolution of your painful tennis elbow, call Wisconsin River Orthopaedics or book an appointment online today.