Quality Care for Elbow Injuries for Patients of All Ages
At University Hospitals, our team of sports medicine specialists offer medial epicondylitis treatment and diagnostics. Our high level of expertise and one-on-one attention can help you resume your normal activities more quickly, whether your treatment plan includes surgery or other conservative treatments.
Medial epicondylitis, also called golfer’s elbow or baseball elbow, describes pain over the bone on the inner, or medial, side of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow is commonly seen in golfers, tennis players, rowers, pitchers, painters and others who repeatedly grip objects tightly.
Golfer’s elbow is caused by overusing the flexor muscles of the forearms that may stretch and tear the tendons. It’s typically triggered by excessive force used to bend the wrist toward the palm. This condition can occur suddenly or develop gradually and can lead to symptoms such as inside elbow pain or tenderness, tightness in the forearm muscles, forearm pain near the elbow, and stiffness or difficulty moving the elbow or hand.
Conservative Golfer’s Elbow Treatments May Solve Elbow Pain
If you are diagnosed with golfer’s elbow, our orthopedic elbow specialists will encourage you to avoid activities such as playing golf or tennis until your pain subsides. We may also recommend the following conservative treatments for golfer’s elbow to promote healing:
- Bracing: Wearing a golfer’s elbow brace over the back of your forearm will allow your muscles and tendons to rest and may reduce your symptoms as a result.
- Physical therapy: Specific exercises that are designed to strengthen the muscles of the forearm may be suggested by a sports physical therapist.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications: Aspirin, ibuprofen and similar drugs may reduce the pain and swelling caused by the injury.
- Steroid injections: Cortisone steroids are effective anti-inflammatory medications that may temporarily relieve elbow pain.
Innovative Tenex Procedure at University Hospitals
In the event your symptoms continue after three months of conservative treatments, a golfer’s elbow surgery may be necessary. Using a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure, we can remove the damaged tendon and improve blood supply to promote healing and alleviate your symptoms.
In addition, as one of only a few organizations in northeast Ohio offering an innovative procedure called Tenex, our board-certified sports medicine physicians at University Hospitals provide this minimally invasive procedure for tendon repair. By identifying the tendon issues through ultrasound, our team removes any tendon damage through an ultrasound-guided technique for significant improvement.
Physical therapy will also be prescribed to restore your range of motion and strengthen your elbow following surgery. In most cases, it takes a few months for patients to completely recover.
Education on Prevention Techniques
Fortunately, there are several ways you can prevent golfer’s elbow from occurring. Our elbow specialists will take the time to educate you on a variety of prevention techniques so you can keep your elbow and arm healthy for years to come.
Stretching prior to engaging in physical activity, proper form and posture, stopping activities that cause pain and lifting weights to build arm strength are all examples of effective prevention techniques.