Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) complaints, diagnostic tests and treatment

Tennis elbow is a disease that occurs as a result of the strain and wear of the muscle tendons attached to the outer side of the elbow. The attachment of the forearm muscles that lift the wrist upwards to the elbow is painful. There is tenderness in this area.

This disease can be seen in people who play sports that use rackets, such as tennis, which gives the disease its name. However, in the outpatient clinic, it is mostly diagnosed in patients with excessive use of the forearm and wrist. Excessive cleaning is often seen in ironing housewives, workers and repairmen, as it develops due to repeating the same movement.

Complaints

The most common complaints are; pain, burning, tenderness, and decreased grip strength on the outer side of the elbow. Pain; exacerbated by moving, shaking hands, turning a screwdriver, wringing a cloth, opening a doorknob. Tenderness occurs when pressure is applied to the outside of the elbow. Attempting to open the wrist and fingers against resistance results in pain.

Tests Used in Diagnosis

X-ray is used to rule out other causes of pain, such as arthritis in the elbow.

Soft tissue is visualized in detail with MRI.

With USG, abrasions and tears in the tendon are diagnosed in detail; It is used to guide the injection in the treatment. In the follow-up, healing of the tendon is observed.

Treatment

Most of the cases; responds to supportive therapy. Rest, activity restriction, exercise, physical therapy, and treatment with a compression elbow band result in success.

ESWT sends shock wave therapy sound waves. These sound waves create microtrauma and initiate the body’s natural healing process, leading to healing in the damaged tendon.

PRP injection is used in tendon injuries. There are many studies showing that PRP is especially effective in tennis elbow. If it is performed under USG guidance, injection can be applied to the place where the tendon is especially damaged and tears. The guidance of USG provides a more precise determination of the injection location.

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