Wisconsin Elbow Doctor Treats Lateral Epicondylitis
Tennis elbow repair is a surgical procedure to treat torn or degenerated tendon of the lateral elbow called the common extensor tendon origin. This surgical procedure is also done on the tendon of the medial elbow called the common flexor tendon origin. Dr. Gertel has perfected surgical techniques that have a very high success rate for severe, chronic, or recurring tendonitis, including tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis).
Healing of tissues in the body depends on a good blood supply to the injured area. Wherever tendons attach to bone, there is a relatively poor blood supply. Therefore, when a tendon gets injured or degenerates from normal wear and tear and/or overload or overuse injuries (repetitive stress injuries), it has a limited ability to heal itself. That is why we see a lot of painful conditions at the origin or insertion of tendons. This commonly occurs in the shoulder, elbow, knee, ankle, and foot. A detailed history, clinical examination, x-rays, and MRI scan of the elbow are used to make an accurate diagnosis.
Tendonitis Pain Will Only Get Worse When Untreated
Cortisone injections are commonly used to treat pain from tendonitis or tendon degeneration (tendinosis). Cortisone treats the symptom (pain), but it does not fix the underlying problem. Cortisone is a steroid that shuts off the body’s inflammatory response, but it does nothing to stimulate healing of tissue. If you receive multiple, frequent steroid injections, then there is the potential to increase tissue damage.
There are many people with pain in their elbow who are not being treated because they want to avoid surgery or their doctor has told them that surgery doesn’t work. For those people who want to try all non-surgical treatment options, Dr. Gertel also offers an in the office treatment called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection (see www.tendonconnection.com). PRP injection is also frequently used by Dr. Gertel as part of his surgical tendon repair.
Milwaukee's Work Injury Doctor Minimizes Risks of Surgery
A mini-open repair is done (repair performed with direct visualization through a smaller incision). The incision is usually 3cm or less. The torn degenerated portion of tendon is removed and repaired with sutures using small surgical instruments. Then PRP injection is performed. Your arm will be placed in a splint and sling after surgery is completed. Surgery is done under general anesthesia and as an outpatient procedure (you are able to go home the same day).
There are always risks and benefits of surgery, and there are never any 100% guarantees regarding the outcome of surgery. Dr. Gertel’s goal is to minimize the risks and help guide you to the best path of recovery. A hinged elbow brace will be used for approximately 4-6 weeks after surgery as you regain elbow range of motion. Then physical therapy will begin at approximately 6 weeks after surgery. Recovery time after surgery may take up to 4-6 months depending on the physical demands of your job.