If you’re an athlete or have a job or hobby that requires repetitive movement of your upper extremities, you probably have experienced a bit of soreness and discomfort in and around your elbow joint from time to time. If you are experiencing persistent elbow pain, it’s time to visit the Hand and Shoulder Center in Savannah, Georgia — We’re specialists in treating sports injuries from hand to shoulder.
Tennis elbow is a common injury among athletes, but many others are also prone to this type of elbow injury. Tennis elbow happens when you overwork the tendons in your elbow with repetitive motions, causing tendinitis, or swelling of the tendons. Symptoms of tennis elbow include:
- Pain on the outside of the elbow
- Pain in muscles near the elbow
- Pain in forearm and wrist
- Difficulty gripping objects or raising your hand
- Elbow swelling and tenderness
Most of the time, rest with an elbow strap, icing the area, and pain relievers are enough to relieve pain and swelling from tennis elbow. Physical therapy may also be used to stretch and build muscles. We will suggest trying these more conservative tennis elbow treatments before anything else.
Although not as well known, golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow. Golfer’s elbow is also a form of tendinitis, and it is a common injury among athletes who perform repetitive motions with their arms for hours a day. Many people who aren’t athletes suffer this type of damage to the muscles and tendons near the elbow that control your wrist and fingers. Symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:
- Pain on the inside of the elbow
- Stiffness in the elbow or wrist
- Pain when making a fist
- Weak grip
- Numbness and tingling in the fingers
Treatment for golfer’s elbow will usually include rest, icing the area, and pain relievers. In some cases, a steroid injection may be used to treat the inflammation associated with golfer’s elbow. We may also recommend physical therapy and stretching to help build strength in the target area.
If you have tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow and pain persists for more than 6-12 months, we may suggest surgery as a treatment. However, we only make a recommendation for elbow surgery if conservative treatments prove ineffective and after thoroughly discussing your goals and needs.
Surgery for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow involves the removal of the damaged tendon and the repair of the remaining tendon. Surgery for tennis elbow can be performed using minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgical methods, although some situations may call for open surgery.
When you visit the Hand and Shoulder Center, we will discuss all of your treatment options and whether or not surgery is absolutely necessary for your needs and goals.
If elbow pain is keeping you off of the court or course, visit the Hand and Shoulder Center. We specialize in treating athletes and professionals who suffer due to the repetitive motions used in their daily lives. Our orthopedists genuinely care about your history and your goals for treatment and will discuss all of the options with you. Schedule an appointment with us today and get back in action!