TINY TEARS in the elbow tendon and muscle coverings cause the shooting, stabbing pain of tennis elbow. After the initial injury heals, these areas often tear again, which can lead to hemorrhaging or calcium deposits and granulated tissue developing in the surrounding tissues. Collagen then leaks out from around the injured areas, and causes inflammation.
Usually, you rest your arm until the pain disappears, massage to relieve stress and tension, and exercise to strengthen and prevent re-injury.
The pain will never go away unless you stop stressing the joint. For mild and moderate cases, ibuprofen helps with inflammation and pain while you rest. For stubborn cases, Dr. Harris may suggest corticosteroid injections.
Surgery and recovery
If rest, medication, and other treatments fail to cure your tennis elbow it may be time for surgery. One effective procedure is to cut the tendon from the epicondyle, which is the rounded bump at the end of the bone (lateral epicondylectomy).
Dr. Harris performs this procedure on an outpatient basis and it takes less than an hour. He will remove your stitches after two weeks and you can likely return to work after two to four weeks.