Elbow tendonitis is an inflammation of the muscular tendons in the elbow area. The inflammation and irritation cause swelling and pain. If the condition is not treated on time or if a person is exposed to strenuous activities and practices sports not allowing the inflammation to heal completely, he/ she will eventually develop chronic complications and elbow structures will be damaged for good. There is variety of treatments for elbow tendonitis. However, surgery is performed only in small number of patients which do not respond to any conventional treatment.
Elbow tendonitis most commonly affects athletes, especially, tennis players as well as people who are working on a production line.
The goal of the treatment is to reduce and eventually eliminate the process of inflammation and to relieve the intensity of pain. The best suitable option is the rest of the affected elbow and medications which will help with the pain. The edema of the elbow area can be brought under control by cold compresses.
Surgery for Elbow Tendonitis
The surgery is actually the last option for these medical conditions. Doctors are ready to try all the available treatment modalities before they suggest surgical procedure. The surgery is, therefore, kept only for small number of patients whose symptoms cannot be brought under control with medications. The doctor will decide whether a patient is suitable candidate for the surgery and compare the benefits and the risks of the surgical procedure. The patient needs to be fully informed about all the potential risks and complications of surgical treatment. The results of the surgery are excellent and they become evident only a few weeks after the operation.
Less than 10 % of all patients suffering from elbow tendonitis are treated surgically. This treatment modality is always followed by physical therapy which will restore all the movements in the elbow area. The surgery does not require hospitalization of the patient. After the surgery the elbow is placed into a sling. The sling will reduce the movements and help with the healing process. Patients are prescribed painkillers to cope with postoperative pain.
The physical therapy starts a few weeks after the surgery. The patient will work with professional therapist who will explain the patient all the exercises necessary for proper establishment of elbow function. All the strenuous activities which may interfere in the healing process must be avoided for at least 8 weeks after the surgery. On the other hand, the patient can turn to regular every day activities within 2 to 3 weeks after surgical repair.