Medial Epicondylitis and Lateral Epicondylitis: What’s the Difference?

If you have a child who is active and plays a lot of sports, it pays to know the sports injuries that he or she is at risk of having. If the sports involves the use of the elbow, then your child should be familiar with the most common elbow injuries to prevent them from happening.

Medial epicondylitis and lateral epicondylitis are two of the most common elbow injuries. Both injuries are a type of tendonitis with similar symptoms except for the part of the elbow that’s affected. Medial epicondylitis occurs inside the elbow, while lateral epicondylitis happens outside of the elbow.

Medial Epicondylitis

If your child fond of playing golf? Then you better watch out for medial epicondylitis. Medial epicondylitis, also called golfer’s elbow, is an inflammation of the inner side of the arm and elbow.

This happens when the forearm muscles are overused and the wrist is repeatedly twisted and flexed, something that happens all too frequently when swinging a golf club. This injury can also be caused by a direct trauma from a fall or a motor vehicle car accident.

Lateral Epicondylitis

If your child a tennis player? Doing a lot of forehand and backhand strokes can take a toll on the elbow and result to lateral epicondylitis. This condition is also known as tennis elbow because tennis professionals get this injury from swinging a tennis racket.

Treatments for Epicondylitis

Even if your child has never played golf or tennis, they can still get an elbow injury if they do an activity that requires repetitive motions of the arms and wrists.

Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and rest are used to treat epicondylitis, whether it is medial or lateral. Using a brace will also help reduce the strain on the tendons. Your San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor may recommend that your child undergo surgery if these conservative treatments don’t work.

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