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Managing Tennis Elbow

Patients who present with Tennis Elbow typically do not have a history of injury and do not even play tennis. In this video presentation, Drs. Bill McCarberg, Steven Stanos, and Joseph Ihm discuss the assessment and treatment options for tennis elbow.

Assessment

  • Examine the patient’s elbow and arm for swelling, erythema, and feel for warmth
  • Check for hand resistance during dorsi flexion
  • Evaluate for range of motion deficits during flexion and extension

Treatment
The majority of patients present without inflammation. Therefore, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) may not be indicated. First, an NSAID does not affect the long-term outcome. Second, there is evidence that NSAIDs may promote tendonopathy.

  • Occupational Therapy for an ergonomic assessment. The occupational therapist can teach the patient stabilization movements and exercises to benefit elbow pain.
  • If tennis elbow presents without inflammation, hold back from a steroid injection.
  • Platelet rich plasma
  • An extensor brace can be obtained without a prescription at any pharmacy.
  • Topical analgesics
  • Acetaminophen may be indicated in patients without risk factors (eg, liver disease).
Last updated on: November 6, 2013
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