Lateral Epicondylitis, also known as tennis
elbow, is a very common source of elbow pain. It is most commonly seen in people 35 to 60
years old but can occur at almost any age. Although it is commonly known as tennis elbow
most people don’t get it from playing tennis. A wide variety of activities can bring it
on. The most common symptom of the disease is pain on the outside of the elbow that is
made worse with certain motions. Morning stiffness is also common, pain is worse during gripping
or lifting, especially with the palm facing down.
On exam bending the wrist back against resistence, typically recreates the symptoms. Members
of the American Society for the Surgery of the Hand are hand surgeons who have specialized
training to evaluate and treat Lateral Epicondylitis; as well as, many other conditions of the upper
extremity. Several options for treating tennis elbow
are available. We typically try conservative treatments first, several of which you can
do on your own. These may include rest, ice, anti-inflamatory medications, support splints,
and modifying your activity. Special exercises, therapy, and injections may also be considered.
Rarely is surgery required. Hand surgeons are actively researching many treatments to
determing which are the most effective. You should discuss these options with your doctor.
To learn more about Lateral Epicondylitis and to find a qualified hand surgeon near
you visit the American Society for Surgery of the Hand’s website at www.handcare.assh.org.