Lateral Epicondylitis Follow-up

Updated: Oct 30, 2018
  • Author: Bryant James Walrod, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Return to Play

Gradual return to play is recommended, with an emphasis on the patient employing improved form to avoid aggravating activities and techniques. The athlete should be able to perform pain-free ROM activities. Continued attention should be placed on a strengthening and conditioning program.

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Complications

The most serious complication is complete tendon rupture. Such an injury often causes a palpable defect in the extensors, which results in weakness on attempted wrist extension. Frequently, the treatment of this complication is surgical repair.

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Prevention

See the list below:

  • Attention to proper form and technique will decrease the risk of developing tendinosis of the lateral elbow extensor muscles.

  • Proper equipment, (ie, size and weight of racquet, size of grip, dry balls)

  • Improved conditioning, improved core strength

  • Gradual increase in intensity and duration of activity

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Prognosis

Although most patients with lateral epicondylitis tend to improve in 9-18 months, they need to be made aware that successful treatment may be a prolonged course. Refractory cases may need surgical intervention.

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Education

Advise the athlete on proper technique and equipment. Formal sport lessons may be beneficial to prevent individuals from acquiring bad habits.

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