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Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow is a condition of soreness, tenderness and pain around the “funny bone” area of the elbow. It got its name because it frequently affects those who play golf. But it isn’t limited to only those who golf. Anyone can suffer from golfer’s elbow if the elbow is overused or improperly used. 

What causes Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow is an overuse injury where repetitive use of the forearm muscle results in pain. Golfer’s elbow strikes the tendons on the inside of the elbow (whereas tennis elbow affects the tendons on the outside of the elbow). Those engaging in activities requiring vigorous and repetitive twisting and gripping are most susceptible.

How do you know you have Golfer’s Elbow?

The most common sign of golfer’s elbow is pain either during or immediately following activity, centered at the inside of the elbow. Other symptoms include:

  • Stiffness on the inside of the elbow
  • Difficulty gripping or holding on to things
  • Pain radiating from the elbow down to the wrist
  • Acute pain when lifting against a force

How does OSI fix Golfer’s Elbow?

The orthopedic specialists at OSI want you to experience and enjoy life without pain. Your board-certified OSI doctor will listen to your symptoms and discuss a plan of action after examining you for signs of golfer’s elbow. You can expect some, or all, of the following: 

  • Physical exam. Your OSI orthopedic specialist will perform a careful examination of your arm, fingers, and elbow, as well as discuss activities that led to symptoms and ask about any history of injury, arthritis, or nerve disease.
  • X-rays. X-rays will allow your doctor to confirm the diagnosis of golfer’s elbow.
  • MRI: An MRI will confirm your OSI doctor’s diagnosis by checking for other issues, such as neck arthritis, which can lead to arm pain.

Nonsurgical Treatment

The vast majority of patients seeking relief from golfer’s elbow are successfully treated with non-invasive, nonsurgical techniques, including:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physical therapy
  • Activity modification
  • Cortisone injection

Surgical Treatment

Your OSI doctor may recommend surgery if golfer’s elbow symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical approaches, usually after a period of 6 to 12 months. In many cases, minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery is the approach.