Commonly known as “tennis elbow”, lateral epicondylitis refers to an inflammation of the forearm tendons that attach on the outer aspect of the elbow. Despite the name, most cases of lateral epicondylitis are caused by repetitive use or overuse and in not just a tennis injury. Symptoms are typically worse when carrying things or holding a racquet.
The overwhelming majority of patients recover well with conservative care. Treatment initially starts with relative rest and activity modification. An elbow brace may be helpful as well. Imaging studies may be helpful when the symptoms do not improve or if other conditions are suspected. Physical therapy with a focus on shoulder and elbow stabilization exercises is important as part of the recovery process.
In certain instances, an US-guided corticosteroid injection may be indicated. PRP therapy, a relatively new type of regenerative medicine therapy, has also been shown to be beneficial in treating subacute or chronic cases.