Tennis Elbow Treatment From an Orthopedic Specialist & Avid Athlete in Lafayette, LA
If you have pain and tenderness around your elbow, you may have tennis elbow. Also known as lateral epicondylitis, this painful condition occurs when the tendons in the elbow become overloaded. Typically, the pain originates at the point where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the outside of the elbow (the lateral epicondyle), and may travel down the forearm into the wrist and hand.
Despite its name, tennis elbow is not limited to athletes. Anyone who performs repetitive wrist and arm motions can develop this condition. The pain usually worsens with activities that stress the tendons, such as gripping and lifting, but any elbow motion can be painful. In Lafayette, LA, Peter D. Vizzi, MD – a board-certified surgeon and avid athlete – treats tennis elbow and other orthopedic conditions using the most conservative approach possible.
How is tennis elbow treated?
Sometimes, tennis elbow symptoms resolve on their own, although it can often take up to two years for the pain to completely go away. In the meantime, nonsurgical therapy will often provide the necessary relief. Some potentially effective options include:
- Activity modifications – After a brief rest, it can be helpful to try new gripping techniques. For instance, a tennis player might try using a different size tennis racket.
- Physical therapy – Stretches, strengthening exercises, ultrasound therapy, and heat applications can help alleviate elbow and arm pain.
- Bracing – A tennis elbow brace, which is a band worn over the forearm just below the elbow, may relieve tension on the damaged tendon as it heals.
- Medications – Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can reduce pain and inflammation.
- Corticosteroid injections – A powerful anti-inflammatory medication can be directly injected into the inflamed area of the elbow.
In general, Dr. Vizzi considers surgical treatment for tennis elbow only when the associated pain is debilitating, has persisted for several months, and has not responded to conservative treatment. This type of surgery, which is usually performed in an outpatient setting, involves relieving pressure and addressing damaged tendon tissue.
If you would like to discuss your tennis elbow treatment options with Dr. Vizzi, contact us to request a consultation at his office in Lafayette, Louisiana.