Tennis Elbow (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Tennis elbow treatment is most often successful. The most important part of treatment is tendon rest. A long rest from aggravating activity allows the small tears in the tendon to heal. Depending on how severe your condition is, you may need to rest your tendon for weeks to months. Surgery is a last resort if other treatment isn't helpful.
Initial home treatment
Treatment for tennis elbow works best when it starts as soon as symptoms appear. If your condition is just starting, rest may be all you need. But in most cases, more treatment is needed to protect and heal the tendon.
You can treat your tennis elbow by:
Wrist and elbow splints can be used in the treatment of tennis elbow. Splints are sometimes helpful for other bone, joint, and tendon problems. But splints have not been shown to help with pain or recovery for tennis elbow injuries.
Over the first months of recovery from tennis elbow, continue your initial treatment and begin:
Treatment if the condition gets worse or does not improve
The longer you continue activity that harms the tendon after tennis elbow symptoms begin, the longer rehab will take. This ongoing activity can cause severe tendon damage and may someday require surgery. If your symptoms don't go away, your doctor may suggest:
What To Think About
Your treatment choices will depend in part on whether elbow pain affects your job or daily life. It also depends on whether you are willing or able to change habits or activities that are causing your elbow pain.
Non-surgical treatment is usually started if the injury is:
Most cases of tennis elbow respond to rest, ice, rehab exercises, pain medicine, and counterforce braces. This injury does take from 6 months to 12 months to heal. Patience helps.
Surgery is considered as a last resort when all other nonsurgical treatments have failed. You may be referred for surgery if:
In as many as 9 out of 10 people who have tennis elbow, symptoms go away and the people can return to their normal activities whether they have had surgery or not.3
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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