Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is a common and painful condition that affects the arm and elbow. It is caused by overuse of the forearm muscles that attach to the lateral epicondyle – the bony bump on the outer part of the elbow. This can result in inflammation and damage to the tendons that connect these muscles to the bone, leading to pain and discomfort.
Signs and Symptoms:
The most common signs and symptoms of lateral epicondylitis include:
- Pain or tenderness on the outer part of the elbow that can radiate down to the forearm and wrist.
- Weak grip strength or difficulty in gripping objects Stiffness or soreness in the elbow.
- Pain that worsens with activities such as gripping, lifting, or twisting the wrist.
Lateral epicondylitis is often caused by repetitive stress on the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the lateral epicondyle. This can occur due to activities such as tennis, golf, carpentry, typing or playing musical instruments. However, it can also develop from sudden injuries or accidents that result in small tears in the tendons.
If you are experiencing symptoms of lateral epicondylitis, you should seek medical attention from a qualified physician. The diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis usually involves:
- Medical history and physical examination of your elbow and arm
- Imaging tests like X-rays or MRI to rule out other injuries or conditions
The treatment options for lateral epicondylitis depend upon the severity of the condition. The most common treatment options for lateral epicondylitis include:
- PRP (Platelet-rich Plasma) Therapy: PRP therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that uses a patient's own blood platelets that contain growth factors to promote the healing of damaged tissues.
- Tenjet Therapy: Tenjet therapy is a minimally invasive tenotomy procedure that involves using a small instrument to remove damaged tissue around the tendon and stimulate healing.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is a treatment option that helps individuals manage their pain and improve their strength and flexibility. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop an exercise plan that targets the affected area.
- Surgery: Surgical options are considered when other non-invasive treatment options do not provide relief. Surgery involves removing the damaged tissue and reattaching the healthy tendons to the bone.
Lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition that can affect individuals from all walks of life. Seeking medical attention early on can help reduce the extent of damage and lead to better outcomes. Consult with a qualified healthcare provider to determine which treatment option is best for you. PRP, Tenjet therapy, physical therapy, and surgery are all viable options at Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine in Westfield, West Orange, and soon Morristown, NJ that can help you achieve a pain-free life. Please call 908-588-2311 to set up an appointment.