ELBOW TENDINITIS OR EPICONDYLITIS(Tennis Elbow)
ELBOW TENDINITIS OR EPICONDYLITIS (Tennis Elbow)
DESCRIPTIONElbow tendinitis is an inflammation of muscles, tendons, bursa, or covering of the bones (periosteum) at the elbow. The elbow muscles, tendons, and one or both of the epicondyles (bony prominences on the sides of the elbow where the muscles of the forearm attach to the bone of the upper arm) are involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSPain and tenderness over the epicondyles. Pain worsens with gripping or rotation of the child's forearm.
Pain when twisting the hand and arm, as when playing tennis, throwing a ball with a twist, bowling, golfing, pushing off while skiing, or using a screwdriver.
CAUSESChronic stress on tissues that attach forearm muscles to the elbow area.
Sudden stress on the child's forearm.
Wrist snap when serving balls in racket sports.
Incorrect hitting position.
Using a racket or club that is too heavy for the child.
Using an oversize grip.
Partial tear of the tendon and the attached covering of the bone caused by:
RISK FACTORSParticipation in sports that require strenuous forearm movement, such as tennis and racquetball.
Poor conditioning of forearm muscles prior to vigorous exercise.
Inadequate warmup before competing.
Returning to activity before healing is complete.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEInstructions for your child:
Don't play sports, such as tennis, for long periods until your forearm muscles are strong and limber. Take frequent rest periods.
Do forearm conditioning exercises to build your strength gradually.
Warm up slowly and completely before participating in sports--especially before competition.
Get lessons from a professional if you are a novice.
Use a tennis-elbow strap when you resume normal activity after treatment.
MEDICAL TESTSYour own observation of symptoms; medical history and physical exam by a doctor; X-rays of the child's elbow.
Complete ligament tear, requiring surgery to repair.
Tennis elbow usually heals with heat treatments, corticosteroid injections and resting the child's elbow. Treatment may require 3 to 6 months.
Use heat to relieve the child's pain. Use warm soaks, a heating pad, or a heat lamp. Your child may receive diathermy or ultrasound (See Glossary), whirlpool, or massage treatments in the doctor's office or a physical-therapy facility. These may bring quicker symptom relief and healing.
Your child may need to wear a forearm splint to immobilize the elbow.
MEDICATIONNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation.
Injections of anesthetics to temporarily relieve the child's pain.
Injections of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. Caution: Repeated injections may weaken the muscle tendon.
Your doctor may prescribe:
Your child should not repeat the activity that caused tennis elbow until symptoms disappear. Then normal activities can be resumed gradually after proper conditioning.
DIET & FLUIDS
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes, when condition and sense of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of tennis elbow.
Symptoms don't improve in 2 weeks, despite treatment.