Lateral Epicondylar Release
Lateral Epicondylar Release – Tennis Elbow Treatment
The procedure known as Lateral Epicondylar, is a treatment for what is commonly referred to as tennis elbow. This van be very painful when the tendons in the elbow become inflamed. The muscles contract in the same movement too often, and that causes tiny tears in those tendons. As a result, a person will find when they bend the elbow it is very stiff and quite painful.
Some of the symptoms that may develop with tennis elbow include elbow pain that is mild at first, but with time it will get worse and worse. The pain can become so bad, it will radiate to the hands and the wrist when the individual is grasping an object. It may be painful to grip something and a person may find they have very little strength to grip with.
There are quite a few different causes of tennis elbow. It is generally the result of using the forearm muscles repeatedly over a long period of time. However, it is possible for someone to develop it due to a fall or some type of accident. The name comes from people who didn’t use the right form for the game of tennis developing pain there.
If you take part in work that involves lifting heavy items often, typing for hours per day, or even yard work on a regular basis you may develop tennis elbow. Those involved in painting and construction work often develop it due to the repeat movements of the elbow all day long as the perform the duties of their job. It may be experienced by musicians who practice their instrument for hours per day too.
Your physician will evaluate tennis elbow by
- Medical History
- Physical Examination
- Diagnostic procedures such as X-rays
It is recommended to share with your doctor any pain you may be experiencing around the elbow. They will conduct a physical examine and ask you about your job and hobbies. They will take a look at your medical history. You may be asked to complete various tests including x-ray.
Your physician will recommend conservative treatment options to treat the tennis elbow symptoms. These may include:
- Limit use and rest the arm from activities that worsen symptoms
- Splints or braces may be ordered to decrease stress on the injured tissues
- Ice packs to the elbow for swelling
- Avoid activities that tend to bring on the symptoms and increase stress on the tendons
- Anti-inflammatory medications and/or steroid injections to treat pain and swelling may be ordered
- Occupational Therapy may be ordered for strengthening and stretching exercises to the forearm once your symptoms have decreased
- Pulsed Ultrasound may be utilized to increase blood flow and healing to the injured tendons
If it is confirmed you have tennis elbow, your doctor will ask you to follow a treatment plan. This will include reducing the activities that are likely causing it so the elbow can rest. You may be asked to wear a brace to help reduce the pain. Icing can also reduce swelling and pain. You may need to take medication to reduce inflammation. Physical therapy may be recommended to help the tendons stretch and get stronger. Pulse ultrasound may be recommended to help with healing the tendons and increasing the amount of blood flow to them.
If the condition doesn’t improve with such treatment, you may be a candidate for surgery. This typically won’t happen unless the problem has gone on for at least 6 months or you are in severe pain due to it. The Lateral Epicondyle procedure involves being under anesthesia and then an incision a few inches long is created in the elbow.
An arthroscope camera is inserted and the surgeon can see the inside of the elbow on a video monitor. They will be able to view the cartilage, nerves, bone, and the ligaments to determine the underlying concerns. This type of surgery is less painful and it will heal in less time. There is also less of a risk for patients to experience infection or scarring. Most patients are able to go home the same day the procedure is performed.
The benefits of endoscopic surgery compared to the alternative, open elbow surgery, include:
- Smaller incisions
- Minimal soft tissue trauma
- Less pain
- Faster healing time
- Lower infection rate
- Less scarring
- Earlier mobilization
- Usually performed as outpatient day surgery
Your surgeon will decide which options are best for you depending on your specific circumstances.
Proudly serving patients across New Jersey and Bergen County from our office in Hackensack. Whether you are in Jersey City, Rutherford, Garfield, Lodi, Ridgewood, Nutley, or Englewood, NJ, we look forward to addressing your questions and providing you with the treatment you need.