Patients in Naples and Bonita Springs, FL
Patients who live active lifestyles and participate in athletic activities, such as tennis and racquetball, see many benefits in staying healthy. Despite these benefits, it is important to understand the potential risks of activities where the forearm muscle is used repetitively. When the forearm is overused, tennis elbow may occur.
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Lateral Epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, occurs when the tendon called the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB) becomes inflamed. This tendon helps add stability to the wrist when the elbow is straightened. This commonly happens during a groundstroke in tennis, and many tennis players experience a weakening of this tendon due to microscopic tears, resulting in the name “tennis elbow.” However, tennis players are not the only ones at risk for this condition. Anyone who participates in activities in which the forearm muscle is used, overworked or strained should be cautious.
Tennis elbow symptoms develop over time, and can inhibit movement and reach of the arm. The injury can induce pain or burning sensations around the joint, as well as weaken grip strength. Attempting to grip tools, like a racquet, can become difficult, impairing your ability to play sports such as tennis. If these symptoms occur, it is important to contact your physician. Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Goldberg, can address these symptoms for patients in the Naples and Bonita Springs areas.
Non-surgical treatments include medications, exercise, or rest, which may help to alleviate initial symptoms. If symptoms do not improve within approximately 6 months, surgery may be needed.
If you decide to undergo tennis elbow surgery, most patients take approximately 6-12 weeks for recovery. During recovery, a splint will keep the arm immobilized. Surgical sutures, as well as the splint, are usually removed after 7-14 days. An exercise regimen or physical therapy is then implemented until patients regain strength in their arm. Dr. Goldberg will inform you when he believes you can return to athletic activities, which is commonly four to six months after surgery. However, every patient’s recovery time will vary.