What is Golfers Elbow?
The condition "golfer's elbow" (medial epicondylits) is an injury to the tendons of the inner elbow which are mainly used when flexing the wrist, as when gripping a golf club. The pain and inflammation from elbow tendonitis often results in time off work, or absence from sport.
Sufferers of golfer's elbow are often 35-50 years old, however, it can occur to any age. Usually the inner elbow will be painful to touch, and wrist and finger flexion will be difficult or painful too. Golfer's elbow may be caused by an acute episode of prolonged activity, such as one long game of golf, or it may be the result of frequent episodes of acute golfer's elbow, resulting in a chronic inflammatory response.
Acute golfer's elbow can be managed by seeing your GP for pain and anti inflammatory medication or your physio for ice massage and stretching treatments.
Dr Manish Gupta is a highly regarded elbow specialist and can help you with your condition. The earlier you see Dr Gupta about your condition, the better the clinical outcome.
Golfer's elbow may have the following symptoms:
- Point tenderness on the outside of the elbow
- Pain extending from the elbow down the forearm when extending the wrist and fingers
- Weakness when extending the wrist and fingers
Acute golfer's elbow is caused by a prolonged episode of wrist and finger flexion, like holding a golf club, where the activity continues into fatigue and beyond. As the activity continues, the muscle tendons of the elbow experience swelling and wear against the bones of the elbow and do not get a chance to recover before becoming damaged and inflamed.
Chronic golfer's elbow is where the accute episodes repeat frequently, over 6 months or more, causing persistent elbow pain and ongoing impact on your day to day life.
Sports Injuries Causing Golfer's Elbow
Golf is the obvious sport responsible for causing golfer's elbow, however, anything involving wrist flexion for prolonged periods may cause the condition. The heavier the object being held or moved, the quicker the onset of the condition.
Workplace Injuries Causing Golfer's Elbow
Winding wenches or pulling ropes are examples of repetitive activities which can cause golfer's elbow.
To diagnose golfer's elbow, the orthopaedic consultant will check the patient's;
- Nature of the injury (sports, work, accident, overuse etc)
- Cause of the injury (impact, collision, fall, repetitive/slow onset)
- Context of the suffering (age, return to sport, work, impact on daily living)
- Perform a physical examination to ascertain pain and range of movement
- Perform specialised imaging like X-Ray, Ultra Sound and MRI to confirm diagnosis
Acute Golfer's Elbow
- An isolated episode of pain which doesn't last longer than one week
Chronic Golfer's Elbow
- Repetitive episodes of acute golfer's elbow which augment over time causing a more serious condition of pain and inflammation
Diagnosis and early treatment of golfer's elbow is extremely important to avoid chronic and long term issues associated with the condition. Book an appointment with Dr Gupta below to get a thorough diagnosis of your elbow condition.
Dr Gupta is an experienced Orthopaedic surgeon and consultant who has treated many types of patients suffering golfers elbow.
Treatment should always begin with a thorough diagnosis to understand the severity of the condition in the context of your age, your sport, your work and your life to understand what is important to you about your recovery.
Non Surgical Treatment
Partial thickness rotator cuff tear injuries may be treated non-surgically using;
- Pain and anti-inflammatory medication
- Physiotherapy treatment for improved strength, better posture and function
Generally not indicated for surgery. Dr Gupta can be seen for local steroidal injection should you require a stronger form of anti-inflammatory medication.
If you are worried about the pain from your golfers elbow, Dr Gupta can help you.
Contact Dr Gupta on 02 9687 8344 or make an online booking here.