The Facts on Tennis Elbow Surgery

Tennis elbow: it’s not just for tennis anymore. Many people who visit my San Diego orthopedic surgery practice with this diagnosis express some confusion over the name, especially if they don’t spend any time volleying balls on the court.

In fact the name “tennis elbow” can refer to a variety of ailments related to repetitive arm movements. Chopping, swinging, even certain musical instrument motions may result in the soreness and inflammation which define the disorder.

So what can be done for tennis elbow? This NIH page describes the more common approach:

If you have open surgery, your surgeon will make one cut (incision) over your injured tendon. The unhealthy part of the tendon is scraped away. The surgeon may repair the tendon using something called a suture anchor. Or, it may be stitched to other tendons. When the surgery is over, the cut is closed with stitches.

But many orthopedic specialists offer arthroscopic surgery as well:

The surgeon makes 1 or 2 small cuts, and inserts the scope. The scope is attached to a video monitor. This helps your surgeon see inside the elbow area. The surgeon scrapes away the unhealthy part of the tendon.

No matter what the cause and which procedure you require, my San Diego elbow surgery practice ensures you get the standard in diagnostic and surgical care. To learn more, feel free to call us here.

When Elbow Surgery Becomes Elbow Replacement

Some of you may have just read my prior post on knee pain and its discontents. This one focuses on its upper body analog, the elbow, and the many ways that pain, inflammation and injury can impede the body’s natural ability to bend and use this major joint.

Elbow surgery can be as minor as a tendon repair or as major as a full replacement. Understanding when and why each procedure is indicated is the role of your orthopedic specialist, who will take you through a range of diagnostic exercises to determine the best course of treatment.

If the joint requires replacing, the procedure can be lengthy and the recovery difficult, but there is an upside: you should regain some measure of freedom and mobility once again.

Some people can start to use their new elbow as soon as 12 weeks after surgery. Complete recovery can take up to a year. There will be limits to how much weight you can lift. Lifting too heavy of a load can break the replacement elbow or loosen the parts. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your limitations.

If you have lived with impaired movement or chronic elbow pain for too long and want to speak with a team of orthopedic surgeons in San Diego, please call or write my practice here today.