Medicine (MD/DO)
Upper Extremity Disorders
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

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Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

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Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

Ladder, E-cone, and Tennis Player
Lateral epicondylitis is characterized by inflammation of the bony prominences of the lateral elbow joint. It is caused by an overuse of the elbow, particularly wrist extension and forearm supination. Lateral epicondylitis often occurs in tennis players, hence its alternative name "tennis elbow". Symptoms include pain over the lateral epicondyle. Treatment includes conservative management, injections, and surgery.
Overuse Injury of Extensor Tendons
Extension Cord

Lateral epicondylitis is often caused by repetitive forceful wrist extension and forearm prontonation/supination. One-handed backhand and improper stroke technique may predispose tennis players. It is important to note that many cases are without a formal cause (idiopathic).

Wrist Extension
Wrist with Extension Cord

Lateral epicondylitis is associated with repetitive wrist extension. Activities such as tennis and manual labor can cause this.

Forearm Supination
Soup and Forearm

Lateral epicondylitis is associated with repetitive forearm supination. Activities such as tennis and manual labor can cause this.

Pain over Lateral Epicondyle
Pain-Bolt over Lateral Epicondyle

Symptoms of lateral epicondylitis include pain that is elicited with resisted wrist extension and passive terminal wrist flexion with the elbow in full extension. About 75% of cases occur in the patient's dominant arm.

Conservative Management
Conservative Mananger being conservative with treatment

Lateral epicondylitis can be managed by conservative therapy including physical therapy, orthotics, rest, icing, compression, and elevation.


Surgery is a form of treatment for lateral epicondylitis and serves as a last resort after exhausting previous options and no improvement or worsening of symptoms after >6 months.

Injection Syringe

Injections of saline plus lidocaine or glucocorticoids can also serve as appropriate treatment for lateral epicondylitis.


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