Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral Epicondylitis is commonly known as tennis elbow, a type of tendonitis. The outer area of the elbow presents with pain. The pain can also spread to other parts of the arm. Grasping or making a fist and lifting objects may become difficult, as tennis elbow can cause weakness. The condition most often affects the dominant arm. It is suggested that any heavy work or sports be suspended to fully rest the affected area. Work conditioning is one way to treat the condition as well as relaxing the arm in which you are experiencing the pain. Laser therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDS) are also options for treatment, providing short-term relief. A physical therapist can teach exercises to strengthen the muscles in the forearm. You may also receive other treatments such as electrodes and ice massage to promote healing. If the pain does not dissipate after six to 12 months, surgery may be necessary. Most often the diseased muscle is removed from the bone and healthy muscles are attached back to the bone. Open surgery is most common and is an outpatient procedure. There is a chance of infection, weakness, extended rehabilitation and other complications with surgery. Restoration of the elbow following surgery will include stretching and immobilization.