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Tennis & Golfers Elbow

Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon tissue, most typically at the inside or outside of the elbow. Irritation of the tendon at the inside of the elbow is known as golfers elbow, while inflammation of the tendon on the outside of the elbow is known as tennis elbow.

Causes & Symptoms

Most commonly tendonitis is due to no known cause and can be due to repetitive microtrauma, developing over time. In some cases an acute injury may cause symptoms to arise.

Symptoms include pain with use affecting the ability to write, work, grip objects, perform power activities or even shake hands.

Evaluation & Treatment

Initial examination should include a medical history, physical examination, and x-rays to rule out associated conditions. Specialized physical examination maneuvers can further determine the source of pain. An MRI may be indicated in only select cases.

Most commonly treatment is nonsurgical and includes friction massage, stretching, strengthening, ice massage, bracing, anti-inflammatory medication and/or injection of cortisone, and activity modification.

In cases that do not resolve with the above treatment surgery may be indicated. Surgical debridement is an outpatient procedure where the damaged part of the tendon is cleaned. Recovery usually takes about 6 weeks.