Symptoms: What does Tennis Elbow feel like?
- Tennis elbow most commonly results in achy, occasionally sharp pain along the outside of the elbow.
- The pain is often worse with lifting or gripping activities especially with the palm facing down, shaking hands, or turning doorknobs.
- Because of the pain, there is often a sense of weakness in the hand and wrist.
- Stiffness of the elbow or wrist may develop because it is more comfortable to hold the arm still.
Evaluation: How is Tennis Elbow diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and what makes your symptoms more bothersome. Several physical exam tests can be done such as pressing over the elbow to see where you are most tender or asking you to extend your wrist back against resistance.
X-ray: sometimes X-rays of your elbow are done to assess for conditions such as arthritis that may be contributing to your pain
Ultrasound: ultrasound can be used to visualize the tendons at the elbow and assess the health of the tendon. Ultrasound can also be used to guide injections into the appropriate tendon.
MRI: occasionally if the symptoms do not improve with initial treatments, an MRI may be obtained to assess the tendons at the elbow as well as the ligaments and joint itself.
Recovery: What Can Be Expected?
Surgery to remove damaged tendon tissue is an outpatient procedure meaning patients go home the same day as surgery. Light use of the hands is permitted immediately after surgery. Elbow range of motion exercises are started soon after surgery to prevent elbow stiffness. Washing the arm is often allowed within days after surgery. Splints may be used for the elbow or wrist for comfort.
Therapy focusing on stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises are started within the first 2 weeks after surgery. Diligence with these exercises is key to a successful outcome. Activities and use of the arm are gradually advanced as tolerated and return to unrestricted activities is usually possible between 6-12 weeks after surgery
It is possible, but uncommon for tennis elbow symptoms to come back after surgery. If some of the pain in the arm is due to other conditions such as fibromyalgia, it may not fully go away with surgery.
The following physicians specialize in the treatment of Tennis Elbow:
I have had a knee and two shoulder replacements plus a diagnosis on an injury to my leg that probably saved muscle loss. I feel that Dr. Zoellner is the best orthopedic doctor that I could possibly have.
Love OI and Dr. Curd. He’s helped me with a couple of issues and I couldn’t be more pleased. The PA Chad is wonderful as well. The surgery went well, treatment(s) for another issue are as easy as they can be and easily scheduled. Definitely recommend Dr. Curd to anyone with hand or shoulder issues!
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Dr. Baumgartner’s kind and pleasant personality set me at ease for the complex shoulder replacement surgery. He’s an outstanding and highly skilled surgeon; I highly recommend him.
From my first consult, I liked Dr. Hermanson and felt very confident in his abilities to fix my shoulder. My surgery and hospital stay were so positive! I recommended him to a friend and he did her surgery as well. He and his staff are professional, kind and a pleasure to work with! I highly recommend him!