Lateral epicondylitis or lateral epicondylalgia, also known as tennis elbow, shooter's elbow and archer's elbow, is a condition where the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. It is commonly associated with playing tennis and other racquet sports, though the injury can happen to almost anyone.
The symptoms associated with tennis elbow are, but are not limited to: radiating pain from the outside of your elbow to your forearm and wrist, pain during extension of wrist, weakness of the forearm, a painful grip while shaking hands or torquing a doorknob, and not being able to hold relatively heavy items in the hand. The pain is similar to the pain of the condition known as Golfer's elbow but the latter occurs at the medial side of the elbo
Evidence for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis is poor. There are clinical trials addressing many of these proposed treatments, but the quality of the trials is poor. In some cases, severity of tennis elbow symptoms mend without any treatment within six to twenty-four months. However, if tennis elbow is left untreated, it can lead to chronic pain that degrades quality of daily living
There are several recommendations regarding prevention, treatment, and avoidance of recurrence that are largely speculative including stretches and progressive strengthening exercises to prevent re-irritation of the tendon and other exercise measures.
Evidence suggests that joint mobilization with movement directed at the elbow resulted in reduction in pain and improved function. Positive results have been found with manipulative therapy directed at the cervical spine, although data regarding long-term effects were limited. Low level laser therapy administered at specific doses and wavelengths directly to the lateral elbow tendon insertions offers short-term pain relief and less disability in LET, both alone and in conjunction with an exercise regimen
Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve lateral elbow pain in the short term, however there were no improvements found in functional outcomes. Injected NSAIDs were suggested to be better than oral NSAIDs. There was insufficient evidence to recommend or discourage the use of oral NSAIDs.
Corticosteroid injection are effective in the short term however are of little benefit after a year compared to a wait and see approach. Complications from repeated steroid injections include skin problems such as hypopigmentation and fat atrophy leading to indentation of the skin around the injection site.
Botulinum toxin type A to paralyze the common extensor origin chronic tennis elbow that has not improved with conservative measure
In recalcitrant cases, surgery may be an option