Epicondylitis

(Golfers and Tennis Elbow)

Epicondylitis Overview

Epicondylitis is inflammation of the elbow tendons. There are two epicondylitis types:

  1. Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). Inflammation of the tendons on the outside part of the elbow.
  2. Medical epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow). Inflammation of the tendons on the inside part of the elbow.

Both types present with the same symptoms. Symptoms are dramatically reduced when an accurate diagnosis is made and an effective treatment plan is prescribed. Patients should make an appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) elbow specialistas soon as symptoms present.

Symptoms & Causes

Symptoms include:

  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Weakened grip

Sports and activities that involve gripping an object and forcefully sticking another are the cause of the conditions. Common examples include:

  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Using a hammer

Common Treatments:

A customized treatment plan that consists of one or more nonsurgical treatment options treats the conditions. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA elbow specialist may recommend:

  • An elbow brace
  • Activity modification
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE)
  • Steroid injections

Surgery is rarely if ever recommended as a treatment option.

Diagnosis:

The patient explains their condition and symptoms as a CONA elbow specialist carefully listens. A physical examination is performed to see what movements cause symptoms. Medical imaging studies are not used to make a diagnosis.

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