Tennis and golfers elbow

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Patient Information

GP Information

Background Information

  • Tennis Elbow is lateral elbow pain due to minor or unrecognized trauma of the forearm extensor muscles.
  • Patients typically complain of lateral elbow pain radiating down the forearm.
  • Examination reveals localized tenderness on palpation over and/or distal to the lateral epicondyle and pain reproduced by resisted wrist extension / supination.

Investigation Guidelines

  • Investigations are not required for treatment or referral for suspected tennis elbow.

Management Recommendations

  • Avoid exacerbating activities.
  • Offer NSAIDs (topical advised).
  • Corticosteroid injections have been shown to be detrimental in the long term and should not be performed.
  • Physiotherapy (Exercise, Massage, USS, Laser therapy) successful in over 90% of patients.
  • Orthosis (e.g forearm band) – useful in cases of functional impairment. Often in conjunction with physio.
  • Surgery may be indicated when 6-12 #months of conservative measures have failed.
  • Referral indications:
  • Diagnostic uncertainty, Considering steroid injection, Need for formal physiotherapy, Failure of conservative measure after minimum 3 months.