Tennis Elbow and Tendonitis | MedStar Health

At MedStar Health, we treat tendonitis with a unique combination of experience and innovation. Our elbow surgeons are all fellowship-trained in elbow injuries and surgery. We perform thousands of surgeries each year using the most advanced treatment methods and technology. We serve as the area’s referral center for the most difficult cases.

Every patient we see receives a thorough and precise diagnosis. We think creatively about how to resolve your tendinitis or tennis elbow, no matter how complex your condition. We will work together with you to develop a treatment plan that will effectively treat your tendinitis and also meet the demands of your daily life.

While you recover, we help you find a balance between being able to move your hand and fingers, while also keeping them steady to allow your injury to heal.

What is tendonitis?

The tissues that attach your muscles to your bones are called tendons. When your muscles flex, tendons spring into action, helping to move your bones. It is easy to injure the tendons in the arms and hands since we use them so often. Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon that causes pain near a joint.

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is a common term for one of the most frequent types of tendinitis. It is an overuse injury that causes an inflammation of the tendon fibers that attach the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow. As the name suggests, tennis players, as well as golf players and other athletes, often suffer from this type of tendinitis. It can also affect you if you twist your wrist repeatedly on a regular basis, or if you type on a computer keyboard without proper support.

What causes tennis elbow and tendonitis?

Tennis elbow may be the result of any of the following sports and activities, usually when improper technique is used or after years of repetitive movement:

  • Tennis

  • Weightlifting

  • Fencing

  • Racquetball

  • Typing

  • Painting

  • Raking

  • Carpentry

  • Knitting

What are the symptoms of tennis elbow and tendonitis?

The most common symptoms of tennis elbow that warrant a consultation with a MedStar Health orthopedist include:

  • Pain in the elbow, upper forearm, or lower arm

  • Pain when lifting objects

  • Pain when making a fist

  • Pain when squeezing something

  • Pain when raising the hand

How are tennis elbow and tendonitis diagnosed?

At MedStar Health, our physicians have years of experience diagnosing and treating elbow conditions, including tendon problems. The following steps are usually included in your initial evaluation:

  • Medical history evaluation: One of our experienced orthopedists will discuss your past relevant medical history with you, focusing on your elbow pain and prior injuries.

  • Physical exam: This involves examining your elbow and forearm, evaluating your pain location and level, and looking for signs of irregularities in the elbow.

  • Imaging tests: Often, your physician will recommend image testing to see your elbow damage in more detail and to help make an accurate diagnosis.

How are tennis elbow and tendonitis treated?

Although tendinitis and tennis elbow can be painful, the good news is that it rarely becomes chronic if caught early and treated properly with the following:

  • Rest and avoiding activities that cause pain

  • Ice

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications

  • Cortisone injections

  • Altering the way you perform activities involving the hand or wrist

  • Wrist splints or elbow counter force braces

  • Physical therapy

If surgery becomes necessary, arthroscopic and other minimally invasive procedures can provide a relatively short recovery period and can produce long-lasting results.

The orthopedic surgeons at MedStar Health are experienced in the most advanced and innovative surgical procedures for the treatment of tendinitis and tennis elbow, including:

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