Question:I've been treated for chronic tennis elbow for the last two years. My doctor says it's finally time to think about surgery. What kind of surgery is best?
Patients often get pain relief and improved function with surgery. This is possible even after years of elbow pain and problems. Methods vary but include release of the tendon or the nerve. Any extra tissue in the area can be removed to take pressure off the nerve and allow the muscle to move normally.
Part or all of the tendon may be removed. Or the surgeon may just cut the tendon and let it reattach farther down away from the bone. This takes the tension off the tendon. The result is less pain and more function.
Surgery used to be done with an open incision but now arthroscopy is possible. Recovery is faster with fewer problems. Rehab can begin sooner because of the rapid pain relief.James P. Tasto, M.D., et al. Microtenotomy Using a Radiofrequency Probe to Treat Lateral Epicondylitis. In Arthroscopy. July 2005. Vol. 21. No. 7. Pp. 851-860.
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