Elbow Epicondylitis Repair

What is elbow epicondylitis repair?

Elbow epicondylitis repair is a specialized surgery used to treat tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow especially if symptoms do not respond to other treatments within a six to twelve-month period of time. Both forms of elbow epicondylitis cause patients to suffer from pain, either on the outer elbow (tennis elbow) or inner elbow (golfer’s elbow).  Both tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) may cause weakness of grip. The orthopedic specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho serving patients in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley have extensive experience in successfully treating elbow pain, epicondylitis, and in performing elbow epicondylitis repair.

How is elbow epicondylitis repair done?

Lateral or medial epicondylitis is caused by microscopic tears in the tendon of the forearm. Patients who suffer from this condition typically have poor mechanics when performing repetitive movements, such as swinging a club, racquet, or repeating a motion that strains the tendon on the job. Elbow epicondylitis repair is generally done with open surgery where the surgeon removes the diseased muscle and tendon from the elbow region and reattaches healthy muscle back to the bone. This is called debridement and tendon repair.

Some patients are candidates for a minimally invasive surgery called arthroscopic elbow epicondylitis repair. During this procedure, a small camera is inserted inside the elbow and the surgery is performed inside the elbow joint. Whether or not a patient needs open or arthroscopic surgery will be determined based on the extent of the injury, age, health and activity level.

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What is the recovery and rehabilitation process after epicondylitis repair?

Elbow epicondylitis repair for patients in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley is generally successful when done by one of the orthopedic specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho. The following recovery process can be expected:

  • After surgery the arm may be placed in a splint or sling depending on the surgery required. It may be important to keep the arm immobile so it is not reinjured.
  • Ice may be applied to help with elbow swelling and elbow discomfort.
  • Your physician will prescribe pain medication to be taken as directed.
  • Once the splint and or elbow dressing has been removed, stretching exercises may begin. These will help reestablish flexibility and will improve movement in the elbow.
  • A physical therapist may be required to aid in the recovery process by teaching you the correct way to do strengthening exercises and may monitor your progress.
  • Return to work will be graduated depending on the degree of healing that takes place.
  • Return to regular exercise and sports may occur four to six months after elbow epicondylitis repair depending on each patient’s particular surgery and degree of damage.

Tennis elbow surgery improves pain and movement in 80-90% of people who have it. It is important to follow your orthopedic surgeon’s protocol for proper healing.

Are there any complications with elbow epicondylitis repair?

As with any surgery, there are possible complications. Your orthopedic specialist at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho will work with you to minimize the complications. Here is what to be aware of:

  • Reduced strength and flexibility can occur with this type of surgery
  • Damage to the nerves or blood vessels
  • Infection

It’s important to call the office immediately if:

  • There is severe pain
  • Swelling does not subside after the first week
  • Redness around the elbow that is hot to the touch
  • Fever
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers
  • Drainage from the wound site

Most complications can be avoided with strict adherence to the post-operative protocols given after surgery.

To obtain more information about elbow epicondylitis repair or if you suffer from Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow and would like to understand your treatment options, please contact the orthopedic elbow specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho, serving patients in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley.

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