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Adolescent Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow occurs when the tendon fibers that adhere to the epicondyle on the outside of the elbow deteriorate. The tendons discussed here act as anchors for the muscles that assist elevate the wrist and hand. Tennis elbow is most common in persons between the ages of thirty and fifty, but it can affect anyone at any age. Tennis elbow also affects over half of all youths who participate in racquet sports, hence the name “tennis elbow.” However, the majority of patients with tennis elbow do not participate in racquet sports. The majority of the time, no specific damage has occurred before the symptoms appear. People who utilize their forearm muscles regularly and strenuously for day-to-day jobs and recreational activities may develop tennis elbow. Ironically, some patients develop the illness without ever engaging in any of the activities that cause the symptoms.

The tennis elbow is characterized by acute burning pain on the outside of the elbow. The majority of the time, this begins as a slow and mild pain that gradually worsens over a few weeks or months. When attempting to lift anything, the discomfort becomes even greater. It may hurt even when lifting light objects like a book or a full coffee cup in some circumstances. In the most severe cases, pain can be felt even when the elbow is moved.

The tennis elbow is diagnosed by a physician asking about the teenager’s medical history and performing a physical examination of the elbow by pushing directly on the region of the elbow’s exterior where the bone is prominent to see if it produces pain. The doctor may also urge the teen to lift his or her fingers or wrist and apply pressure to see whether the discomfort returns. X-rays are never used to diagnose a problem. However, an MRI scan may be used to look for changes in the tendons at the bone’s connection.

There are several treatment options available, and non-surgical treatment is usually tried first. The 1st phase of treatment’s ultimate goal is pain alleviation. Be prepared for the doctor to tell you to quit doing whatever that is causing your problems. The doctor may also advise the adolescent to apply ice to the exterior of the elbow and to take anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain.

With the use of orthotics, the symptoms also subsided. The doctor may also recommend counterforce braces and wrist splints, which can considerably reduce symptoms by allowing tendons and muscles to rest. If the symptoms do not improve after 4 to 6 weeks, the next option is to get a corticosteroid injection near the elbow. This is a very effective pain reliever that is also quite safe to take. If it is overdone, it has a slew of negative consequences.
Once the pain has subsided, the second step of treatment begins, which involves modifying behaviors to avoid the symptoms from reappearing. Physical therapy, which may involve stretching exercises to gradually increase the strength of the damaged tendons and muscles, may also be prescribed by the doctor. Physical therapy has a high success rate in restoring your elbow’s ability to work normally. Again, non-surgical methods are extremely effective in 85% to 90% of patients.

Patients are only considered for surgery if they are in excruciating pain that does not improve after 6 months of non-surgical treatment. The operation entails the excision of the damaged tendon tissue and its reattachment to the bone. The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, therefore there is no need to stay in the hospital. The operation is performed by creating a tiny incision on the bony protrusion on the outside of the elbow. In recent years, arthroscopic surgery has been created, however, there have been no significant benefits to adopting it over the old method of open incision.

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