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Tennis Player
Tennis Elbow

This is a common disorder that causes pain on the outer side of the elbow. Muscles attaching to that side of the elbow contribute to any strength and grip activities. Sometimes it is so painful that just turning a doorknob can be difficult.

Initial treatment aims to relieve strain from the muscle attachment. This can be done with a counter-force brace (forearm strap). Physical therapy may be helpful with ultrasound treatments and gentle strengthening exercises. Injection of steroid can help, but is usually a short-lived relief. There is research looking into injection of PRP (platelet-rich plasma) which is a filtrate of part of the patient’s own blood, that concentrates healing factors together. Surgery is only rarely considered due to the poor chance of a good result.

Golfer’s Elbow

The opposite of tennis elbow, it causes pain on the inner (medial) side of the elbow. This is the attachment site of the muscles that help flex (bend) the wrist and fingers. Treatments are similar to those used for tennis elbow.

Distal bicep tear

A sudden pop with pain and bruising over the elbow and inner side of the forearm may indicate a tear of the lower and of the bicep attachment at the elbow. This can result in severe weakness with bending the elbow and twisting the palm outward. If it is a partial tear, it can sometimes be treated with physical therapy. If physical therapy does not improve symptoms, or if it is a complete tear, then it may require surgical reattachment. The surgery itself is an outpatient procedure and requires one month without putting weight through the elbow. After a strengthening program with physical therapy, most people can start to advance strengthening activities within their own limits by the three-month mark. It is important not to wait more than a few weeks after the injury to seek surgical care, as it can become quite difficult to reattach the tendon if people wait too long to have it treated.

Golfer hitting golf
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