Get answers to your Shoulder and Elbow questions.
Epitrochlear bursitis; Lateral epicondylitis; Epicondylitis - lateral
The first step is to rest your arm and avoid the activity that causes your symptoms for at least 2 - 3 weeks. You may also want to:
If your tennis elbow is due to sports activity, you may want to:
If your symptoms are related to working on the comptuer, ask your boss about making changes.
An occupational therapist can show you exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your forearm.
You can buy a special brace for tennis elbow at most drug stores. It wraps around the first part of your forearm and takes some of the pressure off the muscles.
Your doctor may also inject cortisone and a numbing medicine around the area where the tendon attaches to the bone. This may help decrease the swelling and pain.
If the pain continues after 6 - 12 months of rest and treatment, surgery may be recommended. Talk with your orthopedic surgeon about the risks, and whether surgery might help.
Most people improve with nonsurgical treatment. The majority of those who do have surgery show an improvement in symptoms.
Apply home treatment (over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and keeping the elbow still) if:
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if:
Regan WD, Grondin PP, Morrey BF. Elbow and forearm. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr., Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2009:chap 19.
Schmidt MJ, Adams SL. Tendinopathy and bursitis. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009: chap 115.
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