– Pain at the outside or lateral side of the elbow is generally associated with Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis. While it is named after a sport where it is typically found, tennis elbow can be found among many different types of people and activities. Most often, people who work in office environments with lots of typing and use of a mouse, or those in manual professions involving use of hand tools can also display symptoms of this injury.
The lateral epicondyle is the part of the body most commonly referred to as the funny bone, and it is this area that is affected by Tennis elbow. Overuse of the elbow can cause the muscles to tear away from the bone slightly, and with each tear scar tissue develops, which can lead to irritation and constriction of nerves and tendons in the area.
Rest is the primarily indicated treatment for tennis elbow, as the very nature of the injury results in overuse. Constant icing is also an accepted treatment, and can greatly reduce inflammation and irritation to the lateral epicondyle. Palm-up lifting is a good practice to engage in to avoid irritation as well. Anti-inflammatories may be necessary, but bracing is also an important treatment. Counterforce braces are designed specifically for tennis elbow sufferers, and they are designed to put pressure on the muscle so that it would not pull so much on the connections to the bone.
Surgery for tennis elbow is a short affair, of about twenty minutes. The affected area is opened surgically, and after the scar tissue affecting the area is removed, as well as any bone spurs or prominences leading to irritation. Small holes are drilled in the bone so that it will bleed nutrient rich blood into the wound area and promote healing. Following surgery, two to three weeks of immobilization in a brace will be necessary before a regimen of therapy is begun, which will last for two to three months. This type of procedure has an 80% success rate.
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