Golfer's Elbow

Capital Orthopaedics offers expert diagnosis and treatment for Golfer’s Elbow at three central London locations

If you have pain on the inside of your elbow joint, it could be caused by a condition known as Golfer’s Elbow. In spite of the name, it can afflict anyone who does the repetitive lifting, hitting or throwing actions in sport or at work.

Our highly experienced team of consultant orthopaedic surgeons, radiologists and sports medicine professionals are dedicated to getting you seen, diagnosed and treated quickly, efficiently and effectively.

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What is Golfer’s Elbow?

Also known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow is the inflammation of a tendon that attaches your forearm muscle to the bony lump on the inside of your elbow.

The tendon can get irritated as a result of overuse in the arm or the wrist and can occur suddenly or over a period of time.

What are the Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow?

Symptoms can be range from mild to severe and tend to affect your dominant arm.

You may experience the following:

  • Stiffness and difficulty moving your elbow
  • Pain on the inside of your elbow
  • Weakness in your wrist and hand
  • Tingling or numbness in your ring and little fingers

What Causes Golfers Elbow?

Any repetitive action with your arm and wrist can lead to tiny tears forming in the tendon. This irritation causes pain, inflammation and swelling.

Typical activities that can cause Golfer’s Elbow include:

  • Golf
  • Racquet sports
  • Rowing
  • Weightlifting
  • Throwing sports

Jobs that involve a lot of repetitive arm movements can also lead to Golfer’s Elbow, such as plumbing, carpentry and construction. It can even affect musicians or those who spend a long time typing.

You are more at risk of developing Golfer’s Elbow if you are over 40, overweight or a smoker.

How Can Golfer’s Elbow be Treated?

Medial epicondylitis can be treated at home with a period of rest, ice and anti-inflammatories until the pain has subsided.

There are several exercises that can help build up strength in your elbow, for example, simple wrist raises with your forearm on the table, or wrist raises with a lightweight over the edge of the table.

If your symptoms persist, you should consult a specialist to get an accurate diagnosis and correct treatment plan.

How can Capital Orthopaedics treat Golfer’s elbow?

Our consultant orthopaedic surgeons will do a thorough examination of your elbow mechanics. MRI or ultrasound will be used to diagnose tendon damage, and x-rays may be necessary to assess any other conditions in the joint.

We offer the following treatments:

Physiotherapy

Targeted exercises aimed at stretching and gradually increasing strength in your forearm muscle can be the most effective way to treat golfer’s elbow. We also offer shockwave therapy to stimulate healing.

Injections

Steroid injections can be used to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms. This can be combined with needling and PRP (platelet-rich plasma).

Surgery

In very rare cases, if symptoms persist after 6-12 months, surgery may be used to remove scar tissue from the affected area of the tendon.

If you have Golfer’s Elbow or any other pain around your elbow, contact Capital Orthopaedics here for an expert diagnosis and effective treatment designed around your lifestyle and activity level.

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Other Elbow Conditions We Treat

Tennis Elbow

Inflammation of the tendons on the outside of the elbow caused by overuse, especially in racquet sports. Symptoms include pain, weakness and difficulty holding or gripping objects. Treatment includes physiotherapy, forearm supports and injections to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Shockwave therapy is also used to speed up the recovery process. Surgery is only rarely needed.

Elbow Arthritis

Arthritis is a degenerative bone disease that can lead to bone spurs, damaged cartilage and uneven surfaces in the joint. Symptoms include pain, swelling and reduced range of motion. Elbow arthritis can be treated with physiotherapy and steroid or blood plasma injections to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Severe arthritis can be treated surgically using arthroscopy to smooth the rough surfaces and repair related tissue damage. In severe cases, total elbow replacement may be necessary.

Elbow Instability

There are different types of elbow instability requiring careful clinical assessment and imaging. Treatment involves exercise-based strengthening and bracing to restrict movement. For more complex and severe cases, elbow ligament reconstruction surgery may be needed.

Tendon Rupture

The tendon that attaches your biceps muscle to the radius bone of your forearm can rupture usually through suddenly lifting a very heavyweight. Symptoms include weakness in the upper arm, pain and swelling inside the elbow joint, and the biceps muscle bunching up. Minor tears can be treated with physiotherapy and steroid injections, while complete ruptures may need surgical repair.

Loose Bodies

A loose piece of bone and/or cartilage breaks off from the bone surfaces inside the elbow joint. Symptoms include occasional acute pain and locking of their elbow joint. It can be caused by an old injury, or as a result of arthritis – where a minor trauma causes part of the arthritic bone to break off. Symptoms include pain, clicking, locking and a sensation of instability. In more severe cases, keyhole surgery may be necessary to remove the loose bodies.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

This condition causes pain around the inside of your elbow when the ulnar nerve that passes through your elbow joint gets pinched or injured. This can be caused by actions such as repeatedly leaning on your elbow, or bending your elbow for extended periods (eg using a phone). Rest and anti-inflammatory injections can help reduce inflammation. If symptoms persist, surgery may be needed to release the nerve.

Book an Appointment with an Orthopaedic Specialist

The Capital Orthopaedics team is made up of highly experienced medical professionals – from Mr Simon Moyes, the renowned orthopaedic consultant surgeon, to physicians, nurses, anaesthetists and physiotherapists.
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