What is Tennis Elbow?

By: Howard Luks

Bjbj Howard Luks: Hi, I am Howard Luks, this is your Orthopedic Minute. You have developed this burning annoying horrible pain on the outer side of your elbow and you can t even lift a coffee cup without excruciating discomfort. What is it likely? Probably Tennis Elbow. Quite interestingly, most of you who have suffered from Tennis Elbow have never played Tennis in your entire life. Most professional tennis players don t develop Tennis Elbow, quite interesting.

What is Tennis Elbow? It s actually a degeneration of the tendons or the muscles on the side of the elbow. And they are the muscles that elevate or bring your wrist up in the air. So if you are trying to lift something then you are stretching those muscles and it causes pain. What are the common treatments? Well luckily for many of you this will be a self limiting process. That means that simply the pain will go away. For some of you the pain will not go away.

What might work? Some people think that braces work, I haven t necessarily found that to be the case. Anti-inflammatory if you tolerate them can help also. Icing or moist heat can be applied to the side of the elbow and certain stretching exercises are widely available on the internet for you to search for. I actually tried to find some and have linked them here. Other possibilities, injections, frequently people will receive cortisone injections for lateral epicondylitis, which is the clinical term for Tennis Elbow.

However, be very careful you are limited to 2 injections, there is literature and research that shows that more than 1 or 2 injections can lead to damage to the ligaments on the sides of the elbow. And the last thing in the world that you want is an unstable elbow. Secondly, the cortisone is not treating the problem, it is masking the problem. So if time, exercises and moist heat and medications do not make your elbow feel better what are your options? Well if the pain is significantly interfering with your quality of life and you are not satisfied there are regenerative techniques that are available i.e.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Techniques that can fix the problem. One of course is surgical, where there we can simply remove that small area of tendon degeneration and your symptoms will go away more than 95% of the time. What many people are pursuing these days are PRP or platelet rich plasma injections.

What that involves is taking a sample of blood from you, spinning it down in a centrifuge and taking of a special layer that contains certain cells and certain chemicals. We then inject those cells or chemicals back into you at the site of pain. And the first 2 days you will not like us, it will increase your pain. However, after that most of you will like us and most of you if not all of you will be able to avoid surgery for your Tennis Elbow because the cells and the chemicals that were injected from your own blood sample, has regenerated the tissue enough to the point where you no longer have discomfort or the discomfort is quite tolerable. So you now know what Tennis Elbow is, you now know what your options are, I hope you enjoyed. Have a good day. HPl7 hPE( h[Iw gdvx h)pl ht

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