Tennis Elbow - Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow, is an overuse condition of the elbow that affects many patients. Pain typically occurs with gripping or grabbing objects, such as shaking hands or lifting a coffee cup and is located on the outer (lateral) side of the elbow. Most patients develop this pain after repetitive hammering, raking, painting, extensive typing on a computer, playing racquet sports, or golfing. Symptoms may persist for months in some patients.

This condition is easily diagnosed through physical examination. Sometimes, an x-ray may be performed to evaluate this further, although this would depend on other symptoms or results from a physical exam. An MRI is rarely needed for this diagnosis.

Treatment may include a stretching program, icing, brief trials of anti-inflammatory medication, the use of a forearm strap, and reduction of activities that cause pain. Physical therapy may be prescribed and occasionally an injection to the affected area may be considered. Surgery is rarely needed for tennis elbow.

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