Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Tennis elbow facts
- What is tennis elbow?
- What causes tennis elbow?
- What are tennis elbow risk factors?
- What are symptoms of tennis elbow?
- How do physicians diagnose tennis elbow?
- What is the treatment for tennis elbow?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for tennis elbow?
- Is it possible to prevent tennis elbow?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
How do physicians diagnose tennis elbow?
Physicians diagnose tennis elbow based on the history of outer elbow pain and tenderness often with recent repetitive-use injury. Tenderness at the outer elbow with normal range of motion of the elbow joint assures the diagnosis. Generally, no radiology testing is necessary. MRI scanning can illustrate inflammation of the outer elbow.
What is the treatment for tennis elbow?
Resting the elbow and employing measures to reduce the local inflammation are effective treatments for tennis elbow. Cold application several times daily and anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen [Advil] or naproxen [Aleve]) can be helpful. Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises can be helpful for persisting pain and inflammation. For tennis elbow that is resistant to these measures, local cortisone injection can be beneficial.
What is the outlook (prognosis) for tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow most often has a complete recovery with conservative measures, particularly by resting the joint and avoiding reinjury.
Is it possible to prevent tennis elbow?
Avoiding strain injury of the elbow joint can prevent tennis elbow. Tennis players can benefit by proper instruction in hitting techniques. Tennis elbow straps can be used to minimize the risk of injury to the elbow tendons.
Exercises that strengthen the involved muscles can be helpful to avoid a reoccurrence once symptoms have disappeared.
Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer, 2008.
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