What to do if you think you may have tennis elbow

Lateral epicondylitis may be the lesser-known clinical term for the condition, but tennis elbow is a common problem for anyone who has been carrying out intense activity with their forearms. At OneWelbeck, we have a specialist team of orthopaedic and sports medicine consultants who help patients suffering from tennis elbow. If you are looking for treatment for the condition or are wondering if you’re showing some of the symptoms associated with tennis elbow, here is everything you need to know.

What is tennis elbow?

It is a condition where a person will feel pain on the outside of the forearm where it meets the elbow. Tendons in the area become inflamed as they strain to work under pressure.

What are the common symptoms of tennis elbow?

Most people will notice they have tennis elbow when they feel pain around the elbow area, which emits up and down the arm. The bony part of the elbow would also feel tender to touch.

Someone with tennis elbow should find it difficult to grip objects or do any rotational actions with the hands as the outer tendons in the arm are needed for these movements.

When an individual experiences pain on the inside of the elbow, this usually is not tennis elbow. They may have golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) which needs to be treated differently.

What should someone do if they think they have tennis elbow?

The first thing to do to know if you have tennis elbow would be to reduce how much you move the sore arm as much as possible. Rest the elbow for a few days to start. If the sensation and pain are frequent and won’t go away, it is important to visit your doctor and have them check everything out.

A doctor will be looking to see if there are any visible signs of swelling and may ask you to try out some simple hand-strength tests.

If they find you have tennis elbow, they may prescribe some medicine, or advise you to see a physiotherapist.

How is tennis elbow treated?

When tennis elbow is a persistent problem, a full treatment plan is needed. This is something we provide patients with at OneWelbeck. A standard plan may see a patient treated with a combination of steroid injections and physiotherapy.

When tennis elbow is more severe, and the patient is showing no signs of improvement, surgery is an option.

Do you need surgery for tennis elbow?

Surgery is typically reserved for cases where patients go through a traditional course of treatment and still find persistent issues won’t go away. When this happens, a patient typically has what is known as surgical release, wherein damaged tissue is removed.

Again, you can read more information about this on our tennis elbow page.

Can someone have elbow problems that aren’t tennis elbow?

Yes, and it’s crucial that a patient has a full investigation carried out to avoid a misdiagnosis.

Our team also look at Elbow Arthrolysis and other related conditions. You can view our list of the common elbow and shoulder injuries we help with.

Have any questions?

Tennis elbow can be quite a tricky condition to live with, and getting the right help is important to ensure someone can make as close to a full recovery as possible.

If you would like to know more about how OneWelbeck Orthopaedics, and specifically our Sports Medicine Consultants, deal with tennis elbow, and how we carry out associated surgeries, please get in touch via our contact page. We are happy to answer any questions you have.

How OneWelbeck can help

Here at OneWelbeck, we have a team of orthopaedic specialists, state of the art facilities and diagnostics, and highly competitive financial packages for self-funding patients as well as those with private health care.