Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the inside of the elbow. It’s usually caused by overusing the muscles in the forearm that allow you to grip, rotate your arm and flex your wrist. Repetitive flexing, gripping or swinging can cause pulls or tiny tears in the tendons.
Despite the name, this condition doesn’t just affect golfers. Any repetitive hand, wrist or forearm motions can lead to golfer’s elbow. Risky sports include tennis, bowling and baseball – in fact, this condition is sometimes called pitcher’s elbow. People can also see symptoms from using tools like screwdrivers and hammering, raking or painting.
The symptoms of golfers’s elbow develop gradually. In most cases, the pain begins as mild and slowly worsens over weeks and months. No specific injury is usually associated with the onset of symptoms. Common signs of golfer’s elbow include:
- Pain or burning on the inner part of the elbow
- Pain radiating into the forearm
- Symptoms that worsen with forearm activity
OKC Orthopedics, Sports & Pain Medicine is committed to helping patients with golfer’s elbow return to the highest level of activity possible. Our team of orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and athletic trainers work together to tailor a treatment plan to each patient’s needs and goals.
There are many treatment options for golfer’s elbow, and in most cases, involve a team approach. While most patients have success with non-surgical treatments, surgery may be recommended if symptoms to do not improve after 6-12 months. Our orthopedic surgeons are experts in elbow arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure in which small instruments and a thin, flexible medical device with a camera pass through an incision the size of a small Band-Aid. After surgery, our physical therapists guide each patient through a personalized rehabilitation program to restore strength and mobility.