Golfer’s Elbow

WHAT IS GOLFER’S ELBOW?

Medial epicondylitis, often referred to as golfer’s elbow, is an inflammation of the tendons in the inner elbow. Much like tennis elbow, it’s an overuse injury frequently encountered in athletes, particularly golfers and baseball players. Like other varieties of tendonitis, golfer’s elbow can cause chronic pain in the affected tendon, but most cases can be effectively managed without surgery.

GOLFER’S ELBOW SYMPTOMS

The most common symptoms of golfer’s elbow are moderate pain and a burning sensation in the inner elbow. The pain is usually confined to the inner elbow, but it can radiate down the forearm.

GOLFER’S ELBOW TREATMENT OPTIONS

Conservative Treatment Options

Most patients with golfer’s elbow respond quite well to a conservative treatment plan centered around physical therapy. After several days of rest, icing, heating, and compression, most patients can begin to wear a specially designed golfer’s elbow brace to reinforce the muscles and tendons. As soon as the pain subsides, they can also start practicing golfer’s elbow stretches and strengthening exercises to redevelop the muscles and restore the elbow’s range of motion. If necessary, these measures can be complemented with anti-inflammatories and steroidal injections.

Golfer’s Elbow Surgery

Patients with golfer’s elbow rarely require surgery, but should symptoms not respond to conservative measures, the condition can be treated with a minimally invasive procedure. During the operation, your surgeon will make several small incisions into the elbow, view the affected tendons through a small telescope, and debride or remove any permanently damaged tissue.

Your expected recovery timeline for golfer’s elbow can vary slightly with the severity of the condition. Most patients receiving conservative treatments can begin physical therapy after three to six weeks of rest, and complete recovery should come after two to four months of rehabilitation. In contrast, patients with surgically treated elbows can expect two months of rest before beginning physical therapy, with recovery following after another four to six months.

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