Elbow – Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow

Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow can occur in anyone, not just those who play tennis or golf. This condition is related to the repetitive strain of gripping and twisting your forearm, wrist and hand, all of which are connected in various anatomical ways. Tendons from your forearm cause this condition inflamed and irritated, leading to pain symptoms upon gripping or moving the elbow. Golfers elbow usually occurs on the inside of one elbow.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow

Symptoms of tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow usually occur on the outer side of your elbow (palm facing up).

They include:

  • Pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow
  • Pain triggered when lifting palm facing downwards or action similar to wringing out a cloth

Why Should I See a Doctor for Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow?

Sometimes simple treatment such as resting, analgesia, and icing the elbow can be enough, but you may need surgical intervention if it isn’t. GlobMed has a network of experts specialising in treating elbow conditions, including tennis elbow.

This is a condition of overuse in the common extensor tendon, which attaches the wrist’s extensor muscles to the outside of the elbow. Due to overuse, microscopic tears can develop, causing the tendon to degenerate and resulting in the painful symptoms of the tennis elbow.

When the condition becomes chronic, long-lasting calcification can occur where the tendon attaches to the bone (the tendon insertion). In much rarer cases, larger tears can develop, but most cases are not severe and can be easily managed.

Benefits of Treating Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow

Most people gain relief from tennis and golfer’s elbow by using braces, splints, gear and tools to help with treatment and recovery. In addition, seeking treatment can improve blood flow to the tendons, which will speed healing. As tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are both sports injuries, therapy and treatment can also teach those affected by playing sports ways to change tennis stroke or other activities that cause elbow troubles.

Procedure

Tennis elbow release is usually performed under general anaesthetic but can also be done under local anaesthetic. It is a relatively quick procedure, generally taking 30 minutes or less. The surgeon will make an incision around the elbow where the tendons are before treating the causative tendons (either by releasing, repairing damaged tissue or removing any bony lumps.)

This is a day case procedure, and you can usually go home the same day. After the procedure, if you have stitches, they will need to be removed approximately 10 days post-treatment. Patients will be advised to not return to strenuous activity for 6-8 weeks and advised to avoid sport for 3-6 months, whilst given exercises by a physiotherapist for optimum rehabilitation.

Risks of Treatment for Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow

Much like in the case of any other procedure, there are some risks associated with treatment for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. These may include:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Ongoing pain and discomfort (can be worse than before surgery)
  • Nerve damage
  • Stiffness

How Much Does Treatment for Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow Cost?

The cost for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow surgery in the UK is around £2,970. But this price is dependent on a few factors, such as which consultant you choose, your medical history and the type of anaesthetic required.

Some conditions deserve expeditious treatment without the pain and frustration of having to wait.

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