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WHAT IS A GOLFERS ELBOW?

Golfers elbow is a condition, which is very similar to a tennis elbow but affects the opposite side. It causes pain over the inside of the elbow at the attachment of the tendon formed by the muscles that bend the fingers and the wrist. Inflammation at the region of the attachment of this tendon is known as a golfers elbow.

 

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF TENNIS ELBOW?

It is caused by repetition of actions which use the flexor muscles. This could be playing a sport like golf or gripping activities like holding a hammer, using a screwdriver etc. It can also occur if there is an injury to the inside of the elbow.


WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Pain over the inside of the elbow is the main symptom. It is often burning in nature and moves into forearm and into the arm. Gripping objects or bending the wrist aggravates the pain. .


HOW IS THIS DIAGNOSED?

The diagnosis is often made by a history and examination. Pressing directly onto the region of the attachment of the tendon will cause pain and confirm the diagnosis. Resisted bending of the fingers and wrist also will reproduce the symptoms. It is possible that occasionally an x-ray will be indicated to see if there is any formation of calcium in the region of this tendon. MRI Scans are very rarely needed.


WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?

The first line of treatment is to avoid activities which make the symptoms worse. This also gives time for the inflamed tendon to rest and therefore heal itself. Often local anaesthetic and steroid is injected into the inflamed tendon. Following this physiotherapy, local treatments, tissue mobilisation and stretching exercises are started immediately after the injection. It is also important to apply ice on a regular basis to try and decrease the inflammation. Wearing a splint is useful in certain cases.

Surgery is only considered after an extended period of conservative management. This involves releasing the tendons from their attachment to the bone and removing abnormal tissue. This does not lead to any long term weakening of the arm.