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It’s no secret that, while exercise and recreation keep us healthy, they occasionally lead to nagging aches, injuries and musculoskeletal pain. When left unaddressed, these conditions may become chronic, requiring a long-term hiatus from offending activities. To prevent this, it’s important to discuss pain and immobility with a qualified NJ orthopedic expert.Whether caused by (1) overuse, (2) wear and tear, (3) repetitive motion, or (4) sports and conditioning, a slow-healing elbow injury is frustrating and restrictive. Our orthopedic surgeons see a variety of elbow conditions, and two of the most prevalent are golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow. It is not unusual to see increasing elbow injuries during the NJ autumn, since the mild weather spurs enthusiasts to spend their time outdoors.GOLFER’S ELBOW: Also known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow impacts patients who are overusing forearm muscles and tendons. The condition begins when microscopic tendon tears lead to ongoing inflammation and pain—which can come on gradually or quickly. Golfer’s elbow is typically caused by repetitive, improper technique in your golf swing, baseball pitch, racquet sport or weight training regimen. Pain may become worse as you grip a club or racquet, throw a ball, twist a doorknob or flex wrist to forearm.Golfer’s elbow symptoms may include pain and soreness inside the elbow; stiffness when making a fist or straightening the arm; and numbness or tingling that radiates into the lower arm or hand. To diagnose this elbow condition, your orthopedic specialist will perform a thorough examination and discuss your activities/medical history.After ruling out other damage using x-ray or MRI, our team may recommend rest, ice, physical therapy and brace immobilization. If symptoms persist, you may need one or more cortisone shots, in combination with rehab. In rare cases, surgery is recommended. Surgery for golfer’s elbow typically entails removing damaged tissue, shaving the bone and repairing or reattaching the tendon to take pressure off of the elbow joint.TENNIS ELBOW: Similar to golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow occurs when microtendon tears develop into pain and inflammation. This pain occurs on the exterior of the upper arm near the elbow, and is often caused by racquet sports. However, tennis elbow may also be caused by repetitive wrist twisting—as when using a screwdriver, painting a wall or moving a computer mouse.Tennis elbow symptoms include worsening joint pain, weakening grasp, and discomfort that radiates from the outer elbow into the forearm and hand. Pain typically worsens when the wrist is bent backward, or while grasping something and straightening the elbow. Extreme stiffness may also prevent full arm extension.To diagnose this elbow condition, your Kayal Orthopaedic surgeon will examine your arm, discuss your activity and medical history—and may recommend an x-ray to rule out other joint conditions. Like golfer’s elbow, the best treatments for tennis elbow include rest, ice, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and immobilization. However, persistent or recurring tennis elbow may need surgical debriding, or “cleaning up” of damaged tissue. Your surgeon can also clean out scar tissue and repair/reattach the extensor tendon to take stress off of the elbow joint.
If elbow pain, stiffness and numbness are preventing you from enjoying your favorite activities, it’s time to call our team of leading NJ orthopaedic surgeons. Our helpful staff can arrange an initial consultation, schedule elbow imaging and return you to the links, court or baseball diamond quickly and safely. Call 201-447-3880 today.