Golfer's Elbow

  • Introduction

  • Conservative Treatment

The elbow is comprised of two types of joints. A ball and socket type joint which allows for a rotating motion and a hinge joint which allows the elbow to flex and extend. Ligaments surround the joint to keep it stabilized, while tendons pull on the bones for movement.

The repetitive movement of straightening and bending can aggravate the muscles and tendons which control the wrist. When the medial or inner tendons attached to the forearm become inflamed and/or degenerated, it is diagnosed as golfer’s elbow or medial epicondylitis. This condition usually develops due to the overuse of muscles and tendons in the forearm such as the repetitive movement of the arm in sports such as golf and tennis.

Basic symptoms of this condition are pain that typically radiates from the forearm into the wrist, pain in the elbow, pain when the wrist is being flexed against resistance, and stiffness in the elbow. Pain may also occur when a fist is being made, making certain activities, such as shaking hands, picking up objects or turning a doorknob, difficult.

The first step in recovery from this condition is to modify activity that overworks or irritates the muscles and tendons. Icing or heating the elbow along with use of anti-inflammatory medications and bracing are the initial mainstay of treatment. Cortisone injections can also be administered to reduce inflammation and pain. Basic stretches and physical therapy help relieve stiffness, encouraging a return to normal activity. Surgery is considered if conservative treatment has been applied without definitive long term improvement.

Our Physicians whom specialize in conditions of the hand and upper extremity

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