Tennis Elbow

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Lateral epicondylitis, known by its more familiar name, tennis elbow, is a painful condition of the forearm muscles and tendons. You don’t have to be a pro on the court to develop tennis elbow. Tennis elbow typically occurs in people ages 30 to 50.

Tennis elbow is swelling of the tendons that bend your wrist backward away from the palm. Tennis elbow, as the name implies, is sometimes caused by excessive strain on the forearm muscles, which connect to the outside of the elbow. Improper form, weak shoulder or wrist muscles, and using a racket that is too short all can contribute to tennis elbow.

Though tennis elbow is common among racket-sport athletes, it can happen to other people as well. Repetitive activities that cause strain on the muscles and tendons of the forearms can cause tennis elbow. Those activities include painting with a brush or roller, operating a chainsaw, frequent use of hand tools or repeated occupational hand motions such as those of meat cutters, musicians or dentists.

Experiencing an elbow, hand or wrist injury can keep you from performing the best at your sport — or even completing daily tasks. The specialists at Norton Arm & Hand Institute can help you recover. Our providers have advanced training to recommend and provide a broad range of treatment. Many ailments can be treated with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicine. Surgery for tennis elbow is rare, but if you need arm or hand surgery, the specialists at Norton Arm & Hand Institute have the expertise and skill to help you return to your sport and activity level.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow develops gradually and does not usually occur with a specific injury. Tennis elbow is the result of overuse, repetitive motion or incorrect form when performing specific activities such as holding a racket.

Symptoms of tennis elbow include:

  • Sharp or burning pain on the outside of the elbow joint
  • Weakened grip strength
  • Sometimes pain that wakes you at night
  • Pain that gets worse with forearm use, such as turning a wrench or shaking hands

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Most people can get rid of tennis elbow without surgery. Those treatments include:

  • Rest from the activities that stress the forearm, such as racket sports or heavy lifting
  • Medication that can help with swelling and inflammation, such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy that helps you perform activities correctly, stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons
  • Bracing the forearm to help rest the area
  • Steroid injections that reduce pain and swelling
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment that involves removing a small sample of blood from the patient and spinning it to separate the platelets, which are injected back into the affected area to promote healing

Expertise in Hand Care

Our arm and hand specialists have offices in downtown Louisville, St. Matthews and on the Norton Brownsboro Hospital campus. As a leader in orthopedic care in Louisville, we have a full range of options to tailor treatment to your lifestyle and condition.

If you need arm or hand surgery, the specialists at Norton Arm & Hand Institute have the expertise and skill to get you moving again.

Why Choose Norton Arm & Hand Institute

  • The largest group of arm and hand providers in the state, at four locations in Louisville, offers comprehensive treatment — often without surgery.
  • Our providers offer treatments for common conditions such as carpal tunnel, arthritis, ganglion cyst, mallet finger, trigger finger, numbness in the hands and wrists, and fractures of the fingers, hand, wrist and elbow.
  • Norton Arm & Hand Institute specialists include national leaders in treating the unique needs of growing children.
  • Get an appointment within a week and sometimes the same day.
  • Medicare, Medicaid, workers’ compensation and most major commercial insurance plans accepted.
  • Book appointments, get alerts when an earlier appointment becomes available, communicate with your medical provider, refill prescriptions and more through your free Norton MyChart account.

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