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Tennis Elbow

Andrew Bulczynski, MD

Sports Medicine Physician & Orthopedic Surgeon located in Marina Del Rey, CA

Whether you play tennis or not, tennis elbow is the most common injury found in patients seeking medical attention for acute or chronic elbow pain. In Marina del Rey, California, Dr. Bulczynski creates individualized treatment plans to alleviate his patients’ elbow pain and help them regain full control of their elbow joint once again. Call or book an appointment online today to learn more.

Tennis Elbow

What is tennis elbow?

Lateral epicondylitis, known as tennis elbow, is the most common elbow injury in patients with chronic elbow pain. Most medical experts agree that it’s caused by small tears in the tendons that attach the elbow joint to the muscles in the forearm, allowing it to maintain stability and flexibility.

Tennis elbow is a degenerative condition, more than just inflammation of the tendons, and it’s thought to be the result of repetitive use of your arm. Most tennis elbow cases arise in athletes — tennis players, fencers, golfers, etc. — and manual laborers such as painters, gardeners, plumbers, and carpenters.

Which tennis elbow symptoms should I look out for?

Most tennis elbow patients experience pain and overall discomfort on the outside of the elbow that gets worse when lifting objects. This pain often radiates from the elbow down through the forearm.

Tennis elbow pain tends to develop gradually, rather than suddenly, as it is associated with small tears in your tendons, so it’s easy to mistake the condition for mild overuse or even a sprain. In about 75 percent of cases, tennis elbow develops in your dominant arm. It affects both men and women equally.

When should I seek treatment for tennis elbow?

Pain that does not improve with rest, ice and heat therapy, and compression must be dealt with as soon as possible. Call Dr. Bulczynski right away if you’re experiencing:

  • Elbow pain that worsens at night
  • Pain when lifting objects
  • Difficulty flexing your arm
  • Inflammation, redness, or significant bruising around your elbow
  • Elbow pain that persists for several days

Some of the most common tennis elbow treatments include:

Physical therapy

Specific stretches, exercises, and massages can help alleviate pain, allowing you to regain control of your elbow and forearm.

Injections

Both stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy, which use either stem cells or your own platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to repair tissue damage, can stimulate your body’s natural healing process and lessen tennis elbow pain.

Ultrasonic tenotomy (Tenex procedure)

During a Tenex procedure, your doctor injects a needle into the damaged area of the tendon to liquefy the affected tissue and suck it out.

Surgery

If less invasive treatments aren’t effective against your tennis elbow pain, surgery may be required to remove your damaged tissue and rehabilitate your elbow.

For more information on your tennis elbow treatment options, call Dr. Bulczynski or book an appointment online today.