Tennis & Golfer’s Elbow

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), or golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis), doesn’t only affect tennis or golf players. This condition, where either the outer or the inner part of the elbow becomes inflamed due to repetitive motion, is caused by tiny tears to the muscle just where it meets the bone. It is easy to diagnose as swelling and pain localised in the elbow are clear indicators.

Up to 4 out of 5 patients find relief for tennis elbow without surgery. Minor cases are handled through treatment like heat therapy, painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, and bandaging. Physiotherapy or steroid or platelet rich plasma injections may be considered in more persistent cases. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is carried out under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. The procedure involves taking a small amount of blood from the patient. From the blood sample taken the platelets which are cells that contain healing and growth functions are collected. The injection  consists of a concentration of the patient’s own platelets which then accelerates the healing of the injured or inflamed part of the elbow.

If the pain persists, a 30-minute surgery may be recommended. A small incision is made over the affected area, the painful tendons are released from the bone, and any inflamed tissue is removed. To allow proper healing, the elbow is bandaged with a dressing and placed in a sling for 1-2 weeks. Full restoration of function will require about 8 weeks, so patience is required for elbow strength to return.

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