Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ

Question:

I've had pain along the outside of my elbow for a while. I've tried physical therapy in the past. My new doctor wants me to wear a brace and do physical therapy again. He thinks these things will keep me from needing surgery. Is he right?

Answer:

Research shows that people with this condition--commonly known as tennis elbow--are twice as likely to need surgery if they've already tried bracing and physical therapy without success for their sore elbow.

A recent study looked at 97 patients with tennis elbow. Thirty-eight percent of the patients who had already been treated for elbow pain wound up having surgery, versus 19 percent of those who had not.

Still, 62 percent of the patients who had been treated before didn't have surgery. So there's some chance that bracing and physical therapy will give you better results the second time around.

If you want to give nonoperative treatment another try, talk with your doctor about what's expected and how long you'll need to continue before other options are considered.



*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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