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What to Expect During a Tennis Elbow Surgery

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that occurs when the elbow is overused. Contrary to popular belief, tennis elbow can occur in any athlete participating in sports that require frequent elbow motion. When one uses the elbow in the same motion over and over, small tears can form in the tendons. This can become inflamed resulting in pain and decreased range of motion.

Dr. Madsen performs tennis elbow surgeries either by an open surgery or through a minimally invasive procedure called an elbow arthroscopy. During an arthroscopy procedure, a lighted tube with a tiny camera called an arthroscope is inserted into the elbow. Tiny surgical tools and instruments are used through small cuts while the doctor views the surgical site on a screen to remove the damaged muscle, and reattach healthy muscle to the bone.

doctor talking to patient with arm pain

Recovering from a Tennis Elbow Surgery

A tennis elbow surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient is able to return home the same day. For a week following the surgical procedure, the arm will be immobilized by use of a splint. After two months, light exercises may begin to restore strength and functionality of the elbow. At first, help with physical rehabilitation is provided by either Dr. Madsen or a physical therapist. Once progress is made, patients are given exercises to do on their own.

Athletes are typically able to return to their respective sports within 4 to 6 months post op.

Follow Up Care

It is vital that patients make and go to all appointments and keep in contact with Dr. Madsen, especially if problems arise. It is also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines prescribed.

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