Tennis Elbow, also known as Lateral Epicondylitis, is a painful condition involving the lateral (outer) part of the elbow.  It involves the origin of several muscles that help your wrist and hand function.  Tennis elbow is usually an overuse injury.  Sports such as tennis are commonly associated with this, but the problem can occur with many different types of activities.  Degeneration of this small area of muscle attachment causes pain and weakness.  Symptoms worsen with lifting, gripping, or grasping objects.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Activity modification – Avoiding activities that cause pain can allow the injury time to heal.  Also, modifying your grip technique in certain activities may help relieve the problem.

Medications – Oral or topical anti-inflammatories may help decrease symptoms.

Brace – A tennis elbow brace can be very helpful.  This brace is wrapped around the forearm, distal to the elbow.  This reduces the tension on the muscle and assists in the healing process.

Therapy – Stretching and strengthening exercises are the most important thing you can do for this problem.

Steroid Injections – Injections can be very helpful to decrease the pain associated with tennis elbow, which not only provides relief to you, but also allows you to go further with your stretching and strengthening exercises.

Tennis Elbow Surgery

Surgery is only considered after several months of diligent treatment with the above options.  There are several different outpatient surgical approaches to treat tennis elbow.

Diagrams modified from ASSH (