Management of Lateral Epicondylitis: Current Concepts

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Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons January 2008, Volume 16, Issue 1 Ryan P. Calfee, MD, Amar Patel, MD, Manuel F. DaSilva, MD and Edward Akelman, MD Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is a common cause of elbow pain in the general population. Traditionally, lateral epicondylitis has been attributed to degeneration of the extensor carpi radialis brevis origin, although the underlying collateral ligamentous complex and joint capsule also have been implicated. Nonsurgical treatment, the mainstay of management, involves a myriad of options, including rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, cortisone, blood and botulinum toxin injections, supportive forearm bracing, and local modalities. For patients with recalcitrant disease, the traditional open débridement technique has been modified by multiple surgeons, with others relying on arthroscopic or even percutaneous procedures. Without a standard protocol (nonsurgical or surgical), surgeons need to keep abreast of established and evolving treatment options to effectively treat patients with lateral epicondylitis.

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