What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Commonly known as Golfer’s Elbow, medial epicondylitis is an inflammatory condition of the tendons along the inner (medial) portion of the elbow. The flexor and pronator muscles of the forearm coalesce into a common tendinous sheath that emanates from the medial epicondyle, a bony prominence on the distal humerus (upper arm bone). Athletic or work-related activities that involve repetitive forceful wrist and finger movements can irritate this tendon resulting in pain and inflammation. The pain and inflammation associated with this condition can weaken the grip making activities of daily living, such as shaking hands or turning a doorknob, difficult to perform. Some may also have associated ulnar nerve symptoms with numbness and tingling.
What is the treatment for Golfer’s Elbow?
The majority of patients with Golfer’s Elbow are able to benefit from non-operative therapies alone. Modifying or limiting activities, physical therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can significantly improve symptoms. However, surgical intervention may be necessary if initial treatment with non-operative therapies fails or patients continue to experience pain or more severe symptoms. Surgical repair of Golfer’s Elbow aims to reduce tendon irritation caused by repetitive forearm use. Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic elbow doctor, treats patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area, who have experienced Golfer’s Elbow and are in need of surgical repair.
How is Golfer’s Elbow surgically repaired?
Dr. Patel typically performs a Golfer’s Elbow repair as an outpatient procedure using an open surgery technique. A small incision is created over the medial epicondyle to access the inner elbow structures. The medial elbow tendon is examined while protecting vital nerves. The damaged fragments of this tendon are excised and removed and the remaining healthy tendon tissue is fastened back to the medial epicondyle with special surgical anchors secured within the bone. Finally, any additional concerns noted during the examination, such as nerve compression or instability are addressed.