Elbow epicondylitis is commonly known as tennis elbow. It is a painful condition caused by overuse of the forearm and elbow joint, where the tendon that attaches the forearm muscle to the outside of the elbow becomes inflamed. For the majority of patients, up to 90%, non-surgical treatment is successful in treating elbow epicondylitis. However for those who do not respond effectively to non-surgical treatment, referral to Mr Durrant is advised.
Surgical repair of elbow epicondylitis can be performed by arthroscopy or open surgery and depends on the severity of the damage. The operation involves removing damaged tendon tissue and reattaching healthy tendon to the bone. This tendon can be reattached using suture anchors, which are small metal pins that are inserted into the bone. Attached to these pins are sutures which are threaded through the healthy tendon. The sutures anchor the tendon into place on the bone.
Usually surgery is performed to repair elbow epicondylitis if non-surgical treatment has been attempted for six to 12 months with no success. Surgery to repair elbow epicondylitis is usually very successful. Patients who undergo elbow surgery generally notice relief from painful symptoms within a few weeks. It is generally expected to take four to six months before complete recovery from the symptoms of elbow epicondylitis is achieved and full strength of the forearm and elbow are regained.