Lateral epicondylitis, often referred to as tennis elbow, is a painful condition affecting the outer (lateral) portion of the elbow.
How does this happen?
Repetitive motion is the likely cause of tennis elbow. Tiny tears occur in the tissue surrounding the elbow and in the area where these tissues glide across bone. These areas fail to heal and become inflamed and painful.
How will we know this is your problem?
The diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis is usually made through a combination of your history of injury and point of pain upon examination. Your physician may order other diagnostic tests, such as x-rays or MRI, to rule out more serious problems and to confirm the diagnosis.
How can this be treated?
The initial treatment for lateral epicondylitis usually involves rest and ice, along with NSAIDs or other medication for pain and inflammation along with physical therapy. Simple bracing such as use of a neoprene sleeve often helps. When non-operative approaches are unsuccessful, surgical treatment has been used with a high degree of success. More recently, arthroscopic repair has shown results superior to other measures. (see March, 2010 article in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, by Dr. Felix Savoie and Dr. Michael O'Brien)
These are the doctors you want!
Dr. Felix "Buddy" Savoie, Dr. Michael J. O'Brien, Dr. Gregory W. Stewart, and Dr. Mary Mulcahey practice at the Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine on the Tulane University Uptown Campus. Dr. Savoie and Dr. O'Brien are fellowship-trained Orthopaedic Surgeons specializing in shoulder & upper extremity conditions and sports medicine, while Dr. Stewart is a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physician specializing in sports medicine. Dr. Mary Mulcahey is the Director of the Women's Sports Medicine Program. If the patient is a child between the ages of 1 and 14, Dr. Michele Zembo and Dr. James Bennett are fellowship-trained Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeons who see patients in a variety of locations. In addition, we also have Dr. Stephen Heinrich who is a pediatric orthopaedist.