You don’t have to be an all-star athlete to suffer from Tennis Elbow. Elbow injuries can cause high amounts of pain and be disruptive to your everyday life, making everything from lifting, typing, and carrying large items difficult. Find out how to recognize Tennis Elbow, and learn how Dr. Anthony Romeo and Dr. Anthony Romeo, MD can treat your elbow pain — possibly with elbow surgery — and help you get back to your normal day-to-day life.
Defining Tennis Elbow
Tennis Elbow, also known by its medical name lateral epicondylitis, is a swelling of the tendon in the elbow. Despite its common name, you don’t have to play tennis to get Tennis Elbow. Repeating simple, everyday tasks can cause stress to the tendon over time that allows swelling to develop and cause great amounts of elbow pain from the inflammation. The tendons outside of the elbow that connect the forearm to bone of the upper arm become damaged from overuse from tasks as simple as using scissors to sports like tennis or racquetball. The pain from Tennis Elbow makes it difficult to use the arm.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
If you’re experiencing pain in the elbow when gripping objects, lifting weights, or other daily tasks, you may very well have Tennis Elbow. Persistent aching of the elbow when not in use is a common sign of the condition, and this will only get worse when you attempt to use the muscles of the forearm or wrist. If you experience more pain when attempting to grip an object or have a weaker grip than usual, this is also a sign of Tennis Elbow. Whether you are a gardener or an Olympic champion, Tennis Elbow can affect anyone. If you are suffering from these symptoms, it’s important to visit Dr. Anthony Romeo right away so you don’t suffer from long-term damage.
Available Treaments for Taking Care of Tennis Elbow
Depending on the severity of your Tennis Elbow, a number of treatment options are available. Visiting Dr. Anthony Romeo, MD will allow you to determine just how bad your Tennis Elbow is as well as the appropriate treatment option so you can get back to your daily routine quickly.
- Icing: Placing packed ice on the outside of the elbow for 20-30 minutes at a time every few hours for a few days may relieve the pain and swelling of the tendons.
- Wearing a Brace: To avoid placing more strain on the injured tendon, wearing an elbow strap or brace can protect the elbow from engaging in activities that will exacerbate the pain or amount of damage.
- Anti-Inflammatory Medication: Dr. Anthony Romeo may prescribe you an anti-inflammatory medication or recommend an over-the-counter medication from your pharmacy that will work to reduce pain and swelling in the affected area.
- Physical Therapy: Dr. Anthony Romeo may recommend visiting a physical therapist to practice specialized exercises that will relieve you of pain and help build your strength back up. These exercises can be learned in office and practiced at home as advised by a physical therapist.
- Steroid Therapy: In some cases, Dr. Anthony Romeo may inject steroid treatments into the damaged muscle to alleviate you of your symptoms.
- Extracorporeal Shock Therapy: One experimental option is to use soundwaves into the elbow to promote the healing process of effected tissue.
- Surgery: If the aforementioned treatments do not work and you are still suffering from Tennis Elbow after a long period of time, surgery may be recommended to repair the tendon. This outpatient procedure is done quickly (less than an hour in most cases) in a surgical setting. Using an arthroscope, a small incision is made on the lateral aspect of the elbow to find and remove the damaged area of the tendon. You’re able to go home with minimal dressings on the same day, and we recommend minimal use of the elbow within the initial healing period, striving for your normal elbow function to return within 3-4 months.
Contact Us at Dr. Anthony Romeo, MD to Find Out More About Your Tennis Injury Options
Dr. Anthony Romeo strives for you to leave your pain behind. You can give us a call at any of our four convenient locations in the Chicagoland area with any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule an appointment online, and one of our friendly office staff will contact you to confirm your visit. You can also contact us online with this form with questions about your elbow pain and injury or any of our available treatments, and we will respond in a timely fashion.