Tennis elbow is a condition in which the elbow’s outer area weakens, swells, or hurts. It is non-inflammatory and frequently results from the tendons in the area deteriorating from overuse. As a result, it is viewed as more of a chronic stress injury than an incident-related injury.
One of the most prevalent categories of work-related injuries is repetitive stress injury. Tennis elbow is a disorder that can affect anyone, including those who do not play the sport; the name came about since tennis players are prone to the condition.
Despite its name, “tennis elbow” is a degenerative joint condition that is not always caused by impacts or motions associated with sports. Anyone who performs repetitive lifting, tugging, or pushing jobs at work runs the risk of acquiring a tennis elbow during their career. This is especially true for people who work in manual labor.
Tennis elbow symptoms might worsen due to poor physical technique, uncomfortable working conditions, or carelessness by a manager or employer. Injuries caused by repeated stress might also take a while to heal.
The average tennis elbow healing time varies, but it may take four to six months to recover. To prevent tennis elbow symptoms from reappearing after treatment, you might need to wear a brace.
Tennis elbow may resolve on its own with minimal, if any, medical intervention. However, it can take up to 18 months for that recovery. There are tried-and-true nonsurgical methods that can hasten your recovery. Tennis elbow can be treated with nonsurgical and minimally invasive methods like:
- Rest: To give your tendons time to recover, you might need to cease or cut back on your activities for a few weeks.
- NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) Ibuprofen (Advil®) and naproxen (Aleve®), both NSAIDs, may reduce pain and inflammation.
- Braces: Your healthcare practitioner might advise wearing a counterforce brace, a removable support brace. Tendons and muscles are released from tension using this device.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy activities might help you improve your grip and forearm strength. The use of massage, ultrasound, or other muscle-stimulating methods can aid in easing pain and enhancing performance.
- Steroids: Injectable corticosteroids are steroids that briefly reduce inflammation and joint discomfort. Since these injections must be administered in the proper location, many medical professionals will administer them while using ultrasound guidance.
- PRP therapy: Platelets are little cell fragments in your blood that promote healing. Your doctor takes a small volume of blood during a (PRP) therapy injection and isolates platelets from other blood cells. Under ultrasound guidance, they then inject the concentrated platelets into the damaged area.
- Shock wave therapy: Sound waves can remove scar tissue. After that, the affected area’s blood flow improves.
Degenerative tendon tissue may be removed from inside your tendon using a minimally invasive treatment called a “tenotomy.” In this operation (known as TenJet), the degenerative tendon tissue is hydro-resected using suction created by a needle device and high pressurized saline. This could be a less invasive option to more extensive surgery.
After six to twelve months of nonsurgical treatments, your doctor might advise surgery, such as an arthroscopic or open tendon debridement or a tendon repair, if the symptoms don’t go away.
Surgery often entails cutting off the damaged muscle and tendon. Your healthcare provider uses healthy tendons and muscles from another area of your body to replace the damaged tissue. It may take four to six months to recover. If you’ve had tennis elbow, you might need to wear a brace to prevent the recurrence of the condition.
Tennis elbow can be avoided by following these steps:
Keep your distance from the pain. You must pay attention to your body’s communication with you through pain. Pushing through discomfort puts your tendon at risk of tearing and being damaged.
Check the fit of the equipment. For instance, stiff or loosely strung racquets may lessen the strain on your forearm.
To build up the muscles in your forearms and wrists, lift weights.
Before beginning work or activity, stretch your arms and wrists.
Use an elbow brace to prevent discomfort from getting worse.
Tennis elbow treatments are generally effective. However, they can be connected to numerous disputes. These might include:
- Medical malpractice
- Incorrect diagnosis of the illness
- Pharmacy error when recommending medications or medical devices
- Faulty surgeries (especially those involving tendons or nerves)
- Insurer disagreements (i.e., denial of coverage)
- Fraudulent assertions
Tennis elbow is a condition that can impact various bodily functions and movements. Since the elbow and arms are so important to many work functions, it might lead to additional problems, including lost earning potential.
Treatment for tennis elbow is frequently covered by insurance and workers’ compensation.
However, a lawsuit can be required if there are further problems, such as harmful working conditions or employer negligence. This may facilitate the plaintiff’s pursuit of civil damages for negligence.
You may be entitled to compensation for the tennis elbow injury and any personal damages you have experienced or will experience if you developed substantial elbow damage due to the repeated activities you performed over the course of several years at one job.
Before attempting to pursue a claim on your own, consider speaking with a knowledgeable attorney to offer yourself a fair chance of a favorable case outcome.