May 11, 2017

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Hand, Wrist and Elbow | Sports Injury

Golfer’s elbow causes pain where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. The pain might spread into your forearm and wrist.

Anatomy
The elbow joint is where three bones in your arm meet: the upper arm bone (humerus) and the two bones in your forearm (radius and ulna). At the bottom of the humerus there are bony bumps called epicondyles; the bony bump on the outside (lateral side) of the elbow is called the lateral epicondyle. Muscles, ligaments and tendons hold the elbow joint together.

The piece of bone that can be felt on the inner side of the elbow is called the medial epicondyle. When the tendons attached to this bone are overstretched, torn or inflamed, they can become painful. Golfer’s elbow is caused by overusing the flexor muscles of the forearms. Overusing these muscles can stretch or tear the tendons attached to the medial epicondyle.

Cause

  • Overuse of the hand and forearm
  • Underlying inflammatory joint disease
  • Elbow arthritis
  • Improper golf swing technique or grip of golf clubs
  • Improper technique for hitting a tennis ball
  • Improper size of tennis racquet or tension of racquet strings
  • Doing certain arm motions too much, such as: painting, raking, pitching, rowing or using a hammer

Symptoms

  • Pain and tenderness of the inner side of the elbow
  • Stiff elbow
  • Weakness in hands and wrist

Physician Examination
To determine whether you have golfers elbow, your physician will ask you for a complete medical history and when you started experiencing elbow pain, have you describe your symptoms and conduct a physical examination. An X-ray or MRI may be necessary to identify the specific injury related to the elbow.

Treatment
In most cases treatment for golfer’s elbow can be treated with nonsurgical methods such as:

  • Rest or activity modification (decrease playing time or technique)
  • Ice or heat
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (ie. ibuprofen or topical Voltaren gel)
  • Oral glucosamine sulfate
  • Wrist brace
  • Stretching and strengthening the forearm and grip
  • Physical therapy for modalities
  • Cortisone injection
  • Platelet rich plasma injection

If symptoms do not respond after 6 to 12 months of nonsurgical treatments, your physician may recommend surgery.

In surgery for medial epicondylitis, the surgeon debrides the involved tendon and prepares the bone to help the tendon heal. A small bone anchor may or may not be used to help secure the tendons in place.

Rehabilitation
The recovery from medial epicondylitis takes around three months. There will be immobilization of the wrist in the immediate post-operative period with normal movement of the elbow. Gradually wrist movement will be permitted followed by elbow and wrist strengthening.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000
Megan Golden

By Megan Golden

Megan is the current PR Specialist for OrthoIndy. Golden is responsible for all media relations functions and social media strategies. Golden graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising and a communications studies minor and has been with OrthoIndy since then.

Get stories and News in your inbox

Subscribe to our weekly articles

Related Posts

More from OrthoIndy

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the […]

More

Total Elbow Replacement

Total Elbow Replacement

A total elbow replacement is not a very common surgery; however, it is successful in […]

More

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Golfer’s elbow causes pain where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony […]

More