Get Back Into the Game Sooner with Tennis Elbow Surgery
For active tennis players, and sports enthusiasts of all kinds, there’s nothing more frustrating than being sidelined by an injury, especially one like tennis elbow that spills over into your everyday life.
This painful condition can become a constant and nagging companion, whether you’re on the court or simply watching TV. If you’ve tried conservative treatments to no avail, surgery may be your best option to put an end to the pain and discomfort of tennis elbow.
At North Jersey Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute, under the expert guidance of board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Russonella, we work diligently to find the best solutions for our active clients. While we always prefer a conservative approach when it comes to treating joint problems, sometimes the fastest and easiest route is through surgery, which can certainly be the case for tennis elbow.
Here’s a look at how we can get you back on the court sooner with tennis elbow surgery.
On or off the court
One of the first things to note is that tennis elbow is a condition that affects far more than tennis players. While 50% of tennis players have some experience with the condition, they make up only 5% of the total diagnoses.
Tennis elbow is the result of overuse and repetitive stress, which leads to inflammation in the tendons that join your forearm muscles on the outside of your elbow. And anyone who uses their elbows a fair bit is susceptible — painters, plumbers, cooks, and, yes, tennis players.
While the pain that often accompanies tennis elbow is reason enough to seek treatment, the condition can also have a significant impact on your grip.
The good news is that more than 80% of the time, we’re able to treat your tennis elbow with conservative measures, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
Typically, we recommend a combination of these treatments to help you heal more quickly, and strongly.
If you’ve exhausted these different treatment methods with nothing to show for your efforts, it’s time to discuss a surgical option. Rest assured, Dr. Russonella has an incredible amount of experience performing these types of surgeries, and he uses the most advanced techniques available.
The surgical solution
Generally, there are two ways we go about tennis elbow surgery. In the first, we make a small incision in the lateral portion of your elbow, then detach your tendon and remove the damaged tissue. After we shave down your bone, we reattach your tendon.
If we don’t need to detach and reattach your tendon, we go in arthroscopically and simply remove any damaged tissue.
In most cases, we can perform both of these procedures on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to return home on the same day.
Back in the game
While we know you’re anxious to get back onto the courts, you need to be patient and follow our post-operative instructions to the letter. For the first week, we will likely immobilize your elbow to allow the incision to heal.
When the incision heals, we start your physical therapy program, which helps you heal more strongly and quickly, getting you back into the game faster. In most cases, we recommend at least four weeks of physical therapy. Ultimately, most of our patients need 12 weeks before they can test-drive their new elbows on the court, but 12 weeks fly by, especially since you’re not dealing with the pain anymore.
If you want to put an end to your nagging tennis elbow, give us a call to discuss whether surgery may be your best option. Or you can use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.