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Tennis Elbow Surgery Success Rate

Types Of Surgery For Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow Surgery

Surgery for tennis elbow removes the damaged tendon to ease pain and help you move your elbow more easily. The surgery can be done in one of two ways: by open surgery or arthroscopy.

You can be awake or asleep during the procedure, depending on the specifics of your case. Either way, you’ll get medicine so you don’t feel pain.

Open surgery. Your surgeon makes a cut above the bone on the side of your elbow. Then they remove the damaged piece of tendon and reattaches the healthy part back to the bone. The doctor might also remove a tiny piece of bone in your elbow to improve blood flow and help the area heal faster.

Arthroscopic surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon makes a few tiny cuts in the skin over your elbow. Very small instruments and a camera go into the holes. The surgeon removes the damaged parts of your tendon.

With either type of surgery, the opening is closed with sutures or staples. Then it’s covered with a bandage or other dressing. You should be able to go home on the same day as your surgery.

So You Have A Stubborn Case Of Tennis Elbow When Is It ‘time’ To Start Thinking About Surgery Five Key Things To Consider

At some point, after struggling with Tennis Elbow for months or even years Seeing Doctors, Physical Therapists and other professionals and trying all manner of Tennis Elbow related treatments, tricks and tips You may eventually have to ask yourself, Is it time for surgery?

If you’re like most people, however, you regard surgery as a last resort A serious decision not to be rushed into or taken lightly.

So how do you know when it’s time that you’ve completely exhausted your more conservative options, and it’s time to step aboard the ship to the last resort AKA: Scalpel Island?

Surgical Failure Of Tennis Elbow

The distinction between lateral epicondylitis and PIN entrapment has been well discussed in the literature.5,11,20,27,28,33 The distinction is made even more difficult because PIN entrapment may coexist with lateral epicondylitis in about 5% percent of individuals.33 In one series, a concurrent and unrecognized PIN entrapment also was suspected as the cause of failure in 2 of 15 patients.33 I have found a reliable triad to help make this diagnosis, consisting of: localization of pain at the arcade of Frohse reproduced by direct palpation pain aggravated by resisted supination and pain relief by injection of 2 mL of lidocaine . Electromyographic changes, on the other hand, are not usually present, nor are they necessary to diagnose nerve entrapment.

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Postoperative Care Following Surgery For Tennis Elbow

After the surgery is completed, the portals are closed by suturing or by tape. Endoscopic surgery is much less traumatic to the muscles, ligaments, and tissues than the traditional method of surgically opening the elbow area with long incisions. After surgery, your surgeon will give you guidelines to follow depending on the type of repair performed and the surgeons preference.

Conservative Treatments For Tennis Elbow

Home Use Shock Wave Device

Your physician will recommend conservative treatment options to treat the tennis elbow symptoms. These may include:

  • Limit use and rest the arm from activities that worsen symptoms.
  • Splints or braces may be ordered to decrease stress on the injured tissues.
  • Ice packs to the elbow for swelling
  • Avoid activities that tend to bring on the symptoms and increase stress on the tendons.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications and/or steroid injections to treat pain and swelling may be ordered.
  • Occupational therapy may be ordered for strengthening and stretching exercises to the forearm once your symptoms have decreased.
  • Pulsed ultrasound may be utilized to increase blood flow and healing to the injured tendons.

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Risks And Complications Of Tennis Elbow

As with any major surgery, tennis elbow surgery may involve certain complications such as:

  • Allergic reactions to medications
  • Heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, pneumonia, bladder infections
  • Radial nerve damage causing numbness, tingling, burning or loss of feeling in the back of the hand and forearm area
  • Wrist weakness with extension
  • Symptoms recur or do not improve

More About Tennis Elbow

Most people who are affected tend to use the extensor muscles of their elbows heavily, which results in massive stretching and overuse of the muscles subsequently causing excruciating pain. Tennis elbow is usually caused by repeated straining of the muscles, excessive usage though not hard core strenuous usage or repeated bouts of stress on the elbow joint such as using your desktops mouse for longer periods of time or playing the violin for instance.

Tennis elbow is frequently seen in women aged 40-60 years of age, but is common in all age groups and genders.

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Lateral Epicondyle Release Surgery

If conservative treatment options fail to resolve the condition and symptoms persist for 6 -12 months, your surgeon may recommend you undergo a surgical procedure to treat tennis elbow called lateral epicondyle release surgery. Surgery is considered a last resort for this condition and only 1 in 10 patients requires surgical intervention. The surgical success rate for relieving Tennis Elbow pain is 85-95%.

Your surgeon will decide whether to perform your surgery in the traditional manner or endoscopically. Traditional surgery involves up to a 2 incision in the elbow area, whereas endoscopic surgery involves one or two ½ incisions and the use of an endoscope with a camera for viewing internal structures. The television camera attached to the endoscope displays the image of the joint on a television screen, allowing the surgeon to look throughout the elbow joint at cartilage, ligaments, nerves and bone. The goal of tennis elbow surgery is to remove the diseased tissue around the outer elbow, improve blood supply to the area, and alleviate the patients symptoms. This surgery is usually performed in an operating room under regional or general anesthesia on an outpatient basis as day surgery.

Articles On Tennis Elbow

Mill’s Test | Lateral Epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is swelling and pain in your elbow. It’s caused by damage to the tendons in your arm that connect your muscles to your elbow bone.

As the name suggests, you can get tennis elbow from playing too much tennis. But any activity in which you repeat the same elbow movement a lot can cause this injury.

You can usually treat tennis elbow with rest, pain relievers, an elbow brace, and a few adjustments to your game or other activities. If the pain doesn’t improve in 6 to 12 months or it affects your ability to do simple things such as lift your cup, it might be time to talk about surgery with your doctor.

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How To Prepare For Golfers Elbow Surgery

Refrain from eating or drinking after midnight the night before your surgery. Stop taking any medications like blood thinners or aspirins to prepare for your surgery. You may want to get your home ready since you wont be able to reach very high cabinets or do activities that may require you to pull. Locate loose shirts that button or zip in the front for you to wear as you recover from surgery.

How Much Does Surgery Cost For Tennis Elbow

According to medical research company PearlDiver, typical surgeon charges for tennis or golfers elbow surgery range from about $1,500 to a little over $3,000. Treatment for elbow injuries typically would be covered by health insurance, with the possible exception of extracorporeal shock wave treatment.

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What To Expect On The Day Of Surgery

A lateral epicondylitis release is performed by your orthopedic surgeon and assisted by an operating nurse. If regional or general anesthesia is used, an anesthesiologist will also be on the surgical team. Local anesthesia does not require an anesthesiologist.

Once you are checked in and have signed the necessary consent forms, you will be led to the back to change into a hospital gown.

Chronic Lateral Epicondylitis: Challenges And Solutions


Accepted for publication 27 September 2018

30 October 2018Volume 2018:9 Pages 243251


Lateral epicondylitis , or tennis elbow, affects 1%3% of the general population each year.13 It is estimated that about 1 million people in the US develop new-onset LE annually.4 LE can cause significant pain and functional impairment, and despite its relatively high prevalence, there remains a myriad of treatments due to the lack of a single gold standard solution. LE produces a heavy socioeconomic burden resulting from lost workdays and may cause an inability to work for several weeks in some patients.5 Taylor and Hannafin reported that medial epicondylitis and LE accounted for 11.7% of work-related injury claims, resulting in an average direct workers compensation cost of $6,593 per case.6

Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and natural history

Nonoperative treatment

Nonsurgical treatments are recommended for the initial management of acute LE and include rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , physical therapy , shockwave therapy, braces, and steroid injections. Newer biologic treatments, such as platelet-rich plasma , autologous whole-blood injections , and stem cell therapy, are being increasingly utilized for the nonoperative treatment of LE.



Shockwave therapy

Corticosteroid injection

Botulinum toxin injection


Stem cells

Surgical treatment

Open approach

Arthroscopic approach

Percutaneous approach



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Surgery Or Not Start Treatment Today

Tennis elbow can be painful if left untreated. The pain and soreness can lead to reduced grip strength. The good news is that most patients wont need surgery if treated early. Rest, physical therapy, and medication work wonders. Those who do not respond well to conservative treatment should speak with a doctor about lateral epicondyle release today.

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What Is Tennis Elbow Surgery

Tennis elbow surgery can refer to one of three common surgical methods for treating LE. The type of surgery recommended can depend on the severity of a persons injury, as well as their general health, and currently prescribed medications that might increase risks associated with surgery.

These surgeries are intended to remove damaged muscle tissue and reattach the healthy muscle to the bone. Its important to note that currently research suggests that patient outcomes are relatively the same regardless of which of the three surgical treatment methods is performed.

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Serving Up Some Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow happens when the tendons on the outside of the forearm become inflamed. These tendons connect the forearm muscles to a bony bump on the elbow called the lateral epicondyle. Most cases are due to overuse and can happen during sports like tennis and golf. Painters, carpenters, mechanics, and persons operating heavy machinery are also at risk. Overuse is the leading cause of tennis elbow.

Pros And Cons Of Tennis Elbow Surgery

The Doctors Show feature: New procedure to relieve tennis elbow

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is inflammation of the elbow joint resulting in moderate to severe pain on the outside of the elbow region according to elbow injury doctors. The condition is not just exclusive to tennis players, it can occur to other athletes and normal people from all walks of life.

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Tip : Learn Exercises For Golfer’s Elbow

Finally, most people wonder: “Are there exercises for Golferâs Elbow that I can do at home?”

Yes! Home exercises are an integral part of long-lasting effective treatment to get rid of the pain for good. However, with so many available for “free” on the internet, it is tough to know which ones might be best for you. Some exercise regimens could even flare up your pain! This is where seeking care from a physical therapist, even virtually, can make a huge difference.

In general, a combination of activity modification, self soft tissue work, stretching, and strengthening is recommended, with the goal being to reduce the pain, return to sports and activities, and prevent flare ups.

No two bodies and lifestyles are exactly alike though, so your CityPT therapist can customize a treatment plan just for you. They will take the time to get to know you and teach you how to reduce the stress on your elbow, allow your body to heal, and get stronger and healthier in the process.

Is It Related To Tennis Elbow

If you arenât sure which is affecting you, the easiest way to remember is that Golferâs Elbow shows up as pain in the inner arm, where your elbow folds. Tennis Elbow, on the other hand, shows up as pain in the outer arm, the more bony side of the elbow. This distinction can help you “name the pain” which is useful as you take your next steps to avoid more flare ups, or if you choose to see a healthcare professional.

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Tennis Elbow Surgery Diagnosis

During thediagnosis of a tennis elbow injury, your physician may suggest the following tests to be done before the actual treatment:

This type of test provides detailed images of the densest structure, such as bones. X-rays play a critical role in diagnosing tennis elbow injuries to help rule out causes of arthritis.

Magnetic resonance imaging scan produces images of soft tissues such as tendons and muscles. Your physician may order an MRI to determine the damage to the tendon. MRI can also help rule out the presence of other injuries.

Commonly known as electromyography, an EMG test can be done specifically to rule out incidents of nerve compression. This is because symptoms caused by nerve compression are almost similar to those of lateral epicondylitis .

Is Tennis Elbow A Disability

Pressure Range Mobile Shockwave Therapy Device Swt For Sports Inquiry ...

To qualify for disability benefits, you must show the SSA that your tendonitis is severe enough to last for at least a year and prevents you from working. This means that your condition must be backed by medical evidence that includes objective symptoms and lab tests, X-rays and/or results from a physical exam.

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What Is Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition occurring from repeated muscle contractions in the forearm that leads to inflammation and micro-tears in the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle. The lateral epicondyle is the bony prominence that is felt on the outside of the elbow.

Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow

The symptoms of tennis elbow develop gradually. In most cases, the pain begins as mild and slowly worsens over weeks and months. There is usually no specific injury associated with the start of symptoms.

Common signs and symptoms of tennis elbow include:

  • Pain or burning on the outer part of your elbow
  • Weak grip strength

The symptoms are often worsened with forearm activity, such as holding a racquet, turning a wrench, or shaking hands. Your dominant arm is most often affected however both arms can be affected.


The first step in treating tennis elbow, especially for tennis players, is the hardest. Its resting. Rest, ice, compression, and over the counter anti-inflammatory NSAIDS, are the first line of defense with Tennis Elbow. If at home treatment is not cutting it you may want to see a physician to try cortisone injections to add to rest, ice, and compression. Your physician may give you some exercises to try at home, and/or send you to physical therapy to try high voltage galvanic stimulation as well as strengthening, building endurance, and flexibility to the arm and forearm. A counterforce brace may be recommended as will as modification of your technique if your tennis elbow is caused by athletic participation. These therapies should be attempted compliantly for 6-12 months before considering surgical intervention as they have a 90% success rate vs. the 80-90% success rate of surgical intervention.

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At What Point Is The Damage Too Much To Recover From

Tendon degeneration past a certain point of severity, becomes unlikely to heal without drastic intervention – Of course, precisely where that line of demarcation lies for you or any individual is very hard to say.

However, it’s more cut and dry when it comes to tendon TEARS:

  • It’s possible for mild tears to heal without surgery,
  • But, for moderate tears, the difficulty of healing gets very high.
  • Severe tears are impossible to recover from without surgery.

Again, it’s up to you, but if all your MRI or Sonogram shows is mild to moderate Tendinosis and no tearing, you may not need surgery and may be able to recover without it.

There are a huge number of other factors to take into consideration, of course, like your age, overall level of health and whether you’ve had any Cortisone shots.

How motivated you are is also a big factor – How hard are you willing to work at it in order to avoid the surgeon’s scalpel or Arthroscope?

On the other hand, if your diagnosis includes severe Tendinosis And especially if it includes a tear, worse still, if that tear is moderate to severe, you may be a very good candidate for surgery.

Open Tennis Elbow Surgery

Maudsley’s Lateral Epicondylitis TestLateral Epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow

Open surgery involves a surgical incision at the topside of the elbow joint where the muscle attaches to the bone. Diseased muscle will be removed along with any bone spurs that may be present causing the damage. Healthy muscle will then be grafted to the bone to replace the cut away section and then the surgeon will close the area.

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