Tennis elbow surgery

What is it?

You might require surgery if you suffer from tennis elbow (sometimes referred to as lateral epicondylitis). Normally this is treated with physiotherapy and injection treatment. However, if you have not responded to the non-surgical treatment a tennis elbow operation will be advised.

Tennis elbow is a painful condition of the elbow, which causes pain over the outside part of the elbow. The symptoms may be associated with carrying out sporting activities, however they are also experienced by people who don’t play sports.

Diagnosis and treatment options

Your specialist will examine you and ask you to demonstrate certain movements to check how well your elbow is working.

You might need some additional tests:

  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

There are a variety of different surgical techniques for tennis elbow. The procedure is usually undertaken through a small incision on the outer side of the elbow.

The surgery usually involves removing abnormal scar tissue from within the tendons. Irregularity of the underlying bone may be smoothed by the surgeon.

The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic which means you are asleep for the procedure. The wounds will take approximately two weeks to heal and should be kept clean and dry during this time.

A phased return to day-to-day activity is recommended, with a return to work after two weeks and return to normal activities after eight weeks.

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