Tennis Elbow Surgery


Tennis Elbow Surgery removes diseased and damaged muscle in the elbow.  Once the damaged muscle is removed, the healthy muscle will be reattached to the bone.

What is it?

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis), is a problem with the elbow that causes intense pain on the outside of the elbow from repetitive use and strain of the same muscles and tendons.  Repetitive motions that use the tendon and muscles on the outside of the forearm can cause pain and discomfort.  Surgery removes the damaged muscles to help restore and promote healthy muscle growth.  The particular approach a doctor will use depends on the severity of the condition and what the patient’s desired outcomes are.

What should I do to prepare?

Preparing for any surgery can be stressful.  It is best to understand and talk with your doctor about what will happen during the surgery and what to expect after it is complete.  Having a family member or close friend with you the day of surgery can help alleviate some stress.  Scans and preoperative testing will be conducted to determine the best approach to remove the diseased and worn-out muscle.  A patient should not eat or drink after the midnight before surgery.  Rest and immobilization may be necessary post-surgery to help in the healing process.  This may require time off from work and other physical activities.

What happens during the process?

There are a few methods a surgeon can use to correct Tennis Elbow.  There is an arthroscopic approach and an open surgery approach.  The arthroscopic technique is minimally invasive and could potentially shorten the healing process.  A surgeon will make small incisions and insert probes for visualization and functionality.  While using these probes, a surgeon can remove and resect any damaged muscle.  The open surgery is similar to the laparoscopic method, but the incision is larger, and the elbow is exposed.  The surgeon will talk with the patient to decide which method is best for the patient’s needs.

What are the risks and possible complications?

Any surgery involving bones, muscles, or tendons will pose a risk for re-injury or injury to another part of the surrounding area.   Infections, bleeding, and numbness or tingling are possible with this surgery.   Weakness and loss of flexibility are something that can happen with Tennis Elbow Surgery.  There is also the change that there will be damage to blood vessels and nerves within the elbow.  There is the chance that further surgery may need to be done later down the road.


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