Lateral epicondylitis, commonly referred to as tennis elbow, is a common condition of the elbow caused by overuse of the arm, forearm and hand muscles. Tennis elbow can occur as the result of a poor backhand swing while playing tennis, any repetitive wrist and arm motions or as the result of trauma. Hence, not everyone that acquires tennis elbow plays tennis. Tennis elbow occurs in the area where the muscles and tendons of the forearm attach to the lateral epicondyle, or outside of the elbow. Medial epicondylitis¸ commonly referred to as golfer’s elbow, is the same condition occurring on the inside of the elbow. Sufferers of tennis elbow complain of that causes difficulty in daily functions involving squeezing of the hand, such as shaking hands, turning a door knob or opening a jar. If you have tennis elbow, Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine provides a number of treatment options.
Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine may suggest a special brace to support the forearm and relieve pain. This brace wraps around the upper part of the forearm and relieves pressure on the muscles and tendons in the elbow. If the wrist only needs to be braced for a short period of time a cock-up wrist support may be used.
Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine uses cortisone injections for reducing pain and inflammation for an array of joint injuries. Sufferers of tennis elbow may receive cortisone injection to reduce pain and aid in the physical therapy rehabilitation process.
If tennis elbow is caused by playing tennis, learning proper form can help reduce pain. For all types of tennis elbow, physical therapy can be extremely beneficial. Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine may recommend physical therapy exercises to improve mobility in the elbow area and decrease pain. Depending on the severity, physical therapy may be used with a cortisone injection for immediate relief.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelets found in blood are the body’s natural growth factors. Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine uses PRP therapy as a post-surgery treatment to accelerate the healing process or on its own. Platelet rich plasma taken from the blood is injected into the damaged or inflamed areas of the elbow. Once injected the PRP releases potent bioactive proteins that enhance the healing process. As a result, stem cells are recruited to the area causing mild inflammation and jump-starting the body’s natural response to heal. The PRP injection site can take up to a month to heal after the initial injection.
Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine offers debridement surgery options. Debridement surgery can be performed through an open surgery. Debridement is the removal of debris from around the tendon. The gravity of the damage to the tendon will determine the extent of the debridement.