Medial epicondylitis, commonly referred to as golfer’s elbow, is a condition of the elbow similar to tennis elbow. The differentiating factor between golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow is the location of the pain. Both conditions are tendonitis of the forearm; however golfer’s elbow is tendonitis affecting the inside of the elbow joint as opposed to the outside. Golfer’s elbow can be caused by an acute strain, or more commonly from a repetitive action, such as repeatedly swinging a golf club. Sufferers of golfer’s elbow typically complain of pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow that runs along the inner arm, stiffness, weakness and sometimes numbness or tingling. Contrary to its name, golfer’s elbow has numerous causes, including weight lifting, racket sports, and other repetitive activities such as yard work or using a computer.
Genesis Orthopedics & Sport Medicine may suggest a special brace to support the forearm and relieve pain. This brace wraps around the upper portion of the forearm and relieves pressure on the muscles and tendons in the elbow. A cock-up wrist support may be used for injuries that require a minimal recovery time.
Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine uses cortisone injections for reducing pain and inflammation for an array of joint injuries. Sufferers of golfer’s elbow may receive a cortisone injection to reduce pain and aid in the physical therapy rehabilitation process.
If the golfer’s elbow is caused by playing golf, learning proper form can help reduce pain. For all types of golfer’s elbow, physical therapy can be extremely beneficial. Genesis Orthopedics & Sport 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 & Sport Medicine uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy as either a post-surgery treatment to accelerate the healing process or on its own. Platelet-rich plasma taken from the patient’s 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.
Medial epicondyle release is a common surgery for golfer’s elbow. This procedure is used to take pressure of the common flexor tendon, and relieve pain. Genesis Orthopedics & Sport Medicine will make small incisions on the inside of the elbow above the common flexor tendon, and will then remove the tendon from the bone and consequently, any scar tissue or bone spurs from the affected area.