Correction of the tennis elbow is a surgical procedure aimed at releasing the extensor muscles subjected to the degenerative process. Tennis elbow is commonly called epicondylitis of the lateral humerus due to the fact that it is a health problem that often affects athletes. It is the degenerative disease, most often associated with long-term and cyclical muscles overloading and joints. It is associated with severe pain in the area of the forearm and elbow. This is where the starter trailer rectifiers. Their strain results initially delicately, and with time more and more painfully.
Pain in the area of the lateral compartment of the elbow is the basic symptom of this condition. It is characterized by its intensity when touched and when performing specific movements. Such as grasping and lifting, clenching or opening the hand, twisting movements of the wrist – when unscrewing tap or turning the handle. Pain ailments usually radiate towards the wrist (after the outside of the forearm) and the last two fingers of the hand, and the muscles are under strong tension.
As part of conservative treatment, the doctor primarily recommends modifying physical activity. It is about avoiding especially those activities that cause pain to the patient. Additional recommendation is to implement muscle relaxation therapy and perform stretching exercises recommended by an experienced physiotherapist. Shock wave treatments and acupuncture can also be helpful. An effective method is also injection with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the painful places, which are previously centrifuged from the patient’s blood.
If the conservative methods do not bring the expected improvement (pain symptoms occuring do not decrease and the elbow functionality does not improve) operation is indicated. The operation is aimed at the so-called release of the extensor muscles that have been subject to the degenerative process. After consultation and performing the necessary tests – enabling the patient to be admitted to the procedure, the date is set.
The course of the procedure
The correction of the tennis elbow is performed under general anesthesia or regional anesthesia (for this purpose the doctor turns off the nerve conduction below the armpit). The surgeon puts a band on the hand to prevent excessive bleeding, and then makes a small (about 4 cm) incision around the lateral epicondyle and cuts the fascia and the joint capsule. This is how it comes to exposure of the muscles involved in the degenerative process. The doctor then cuts out a damaged fragment of a tendon, cuts it or lengthens it with the use of specialized anchors. At the same time, it removes calcification and degenerative changes, and finally sews all tissues together.
There is another surgical technique – the so-called Nirschl’s method, which is based on the execution of a small incision (1.5 cm) – in turn: skin, subcutaneous tissues and the intermuscular septum above epicondyle. This allows for its full visibility and facilitates access to it. Then the doctor separates it from the bone and cuts out the degenerated fragment of the extensor muscle attachment with short radiation. At the site of the exposed trailer, he performs several (usually 4 to 5) bone drilling, which is aimed at improving the blood supply in the place of the muscle defect, and accelerating its regeneration of the tendon and acceleration of the healing process. The last step is cleaning the tissues and theirs stitching.
The recovery period is about 3 months. Usually after this time the patient returns to normal functioning. On the other hand, people who practice sports, who require not only to regain their hand fitness, but also its strength, usually they can return to training after six months (4 to 6 months).
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