When should you see a doctor for tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow does not usually lead to serious problems. However, if normal measures such as rest, ice, and over-the-counter medication have not helped relieve the pain, it may be a benefit to Dr. James Mazzara, elbow specialist. You will want to inform him right away if the following conditions develop:
- Weakness or numbness in the hand (could mean a different type of injury.)
- Pain that limits daily activity.
- Tennis elbow symptoms that do not subside after several days.
How is lateral epicondylitis diagnosed?
Dr. Mazzara will conduct a thorough physical examination and medical review of the patient’s history. He will inquire about the possible causes of tennis elbow, rather it be work related, due to a sports activity, or caused by an accident. During the physical exam, he will apply pressure to different areas of the arm and elbow as well as test strength and pain levels. Most commonly, tennis elbow is diagnosed by pain when palpating directly over the area of the lateral epicondyle. Dr. Mazzara may recommend a series of X-rays and an MRI to rule out any bone injuries or associated elbow injuries.
Does tennis elbow require surgery?
Tennis elbow often gets better on its own. However, if over-the-counter pain medications and other self-care measures aren’t helping, Dr. Mazzara may suggest physical therapy or a special brace. If the injury is related to overuse, eliminating the activity all together for a duration of time will often heal the injury. Other non-surgical treatment options include a cortisone injection and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections.
How is tennis elbow treated with surgery?
If left untreated, or if there is further tendon damage, tennis elbow may require surgical intervention. Typically, the surgery used to repair torn tendons in the elbow is done through a small incision on the outside of the elbow. Dr. Mazzara can repair the damage and return patients to their normal activities with this innovative treatment technique. Patients are encouraged to return to normal activities as pain permits 48 hours after surgery.
If you have symptoms of tennis elbow or if you would like further information about lateral epicondylitis, please contact the orthopedic office of Dr. James Mazzara, elbow specialist, serving patients living in Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford Connecticut communities.