Golfer’s elbow, also called medial epicondylitis, occurs when the tendons that connect your forearm muscles to the bone rub on the inside of your elbow, causing elbow pain. (Tendons are a type of connective tissue that connect muscle to bone.)
Golfer’s elbow can affect anyone who makes repetitive wrist or finger-clenching motions, including tennis players. In many cases, rest and physical therapy can reduce your elbow pain and get you back to the activities you enjoy most.
As one of the largest regional health systems in Wisconsin, we have a sizable team of specialists experienced in treating golfer’s elbow.
Symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:
Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow, a condition that causes pain on the outside of the elbow. Learn more about tennis elbow.
Repetitive or forceful motions of the wrist and fingers can damage muscles and tendons, causing golfer’s elbow. These kind of motions are common if you participate in:
Improper form or conditioning can also be a reason you develop golfer’s elbow. At Aurora, we offer conditioning and training programs to help athletes and active adults prevent injuries, including our:
Doctors typically diagnose golfer’s elbow with a physical exam. During your visit, your doctor will look at your elbow, wrist and fingers to see how well you can move them.
Your doctor may also use an X-ray to help rule out conditions like an elbow fracture. An X-ray is a quick, painless imaging test that takes pictures of your bones and internal structures.
Learn more about orthopedic diagnosis at Aurora.
Doctors treat most cases of golfer’s elbow with non-surgical methods, which will usually help you recover within 3 months. Your doctor may recommend treatments that include:
In rare cases, you may need surgery, especially if your elbow pain doesn’t get better within a year. Our orthopedists are experts in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, which uses small incisions and thin, flexible instruments to repair injuries. This type of surgery offers faster recovery and minimal scarring compared to traditional, open surgery.
Find out more about our treatments for elbow, wrist and hand pain.