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Tennis Elbow

Lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition of the elbow typically caused by overuse. This condition is more commonly referred to as tennis elbow as it is often the result of playing tennis or other racquet sports. Tennis elbow is not exclusively for tennis players, however, as there are several other sports and activities that can also put one at risk.

Tennis Elbow Causes

Tennis elbow is a condition that is caused by overuse and muscle strain. Repeated contraction of the forearm muscles that are used  to straighten and raise the hand and wrist lead to this painful condition. Repeated motion and stress to the tissue may result in a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bony prominence on the outside of the elbow.

Tennis Elbow Symptoms

Most people with tennis elbow experience gradually developing symptoms, including:

  • Pain that is initially mild, and slowly worsens over time
  • Pain or burning on the outer area of the elbow
  • Noticeably weakened grip when shaking hands, turning a doorknob, and similar actions

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Upon examination, your doctor will consider a number of factors in making a diagnosis, including medical history and activities. In some cases, an X-ray or image testing may be used to rule out other potential problems before the diagnosis of tennis elbow is made.

While tennis elbow often gets better on its own, sometimes pain medication or physical therapy may be needed to facilitate healing. Severe and persistent cases may eventually require surgery. Before that point, nonsurgical treatment options are usually applied, which may include:

  • Rest  - this typically requires the suspension of sports or heavy work activities
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication - Aspirin or ibuprofen may be recommended for pain and swelling
  • Cortisone injections - May be give to control pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy - specific exercises may strengthen the forearm, and treatments such as ultrasound, ice massage, or muscle stimulation also be used
  • Brace - A brace centered over the back of the forearm may be worn to provide stability and help relieve symptoms of tennis elbow

If you suspect that you may have tennis elbow, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We will provide a thorough and comprehensive evaluation and prescribe the best course of treatment for you.

Get To Know Our Practice

Reconstructive Orthopaedics is available to serve you at four convenient Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky locations

Meet our team of orthopedic surgeons and professionals and learn more about what we offer you.  Contact us or call our appointment line at 513-793-3933, and we will reserve the time and location that works best for you — we can usually schedule your appointment within 48 hours.



tennis elbow diagramphoto courtesy of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Montgomery Office
8099 Cornell Rd.
Suite 100
Cincinnati, OH 45249
513-793-3933
Physical Therapy
Suite 201 • 513-985-2256

Fairfield Office
5900 Boymel Drive
Fairfield, OH 45014
513-793-3933
Physical Therapy
513-870-5342
MRI – 2960 Mack Road
Suite 106 • 513-942-4444

Fort Wright Office
1955 Dixie Highway
Suite K
Fort Wright, KY 41011
513-793-3933

Lebanon Office
100 Arrow Springs Blvd.
Suite #2600
Lebanon, OH 45036
513-793-3933

Lebanon Physical Therapy
Rivers Crossing
Shopping Center • 440 Corwin Nixon Boulevard,
S. Lebanon, Ohio 45065
513-770-0333

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