Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
Medial epicondylitis, more commonly known as ‘golfer’s elbow’, is damage to the flexor tendons that are attached to the medial epicondyle, which is the bony bump on the inside of the elbow joint.
What causes the condition?
In common with the related condition of tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is an overuse injury which arises from repeated contractions of the muscles in the forearm. This can cause inflammation and micro tears in the tendons. Importantly – it’s not limited to golfers. The condition is commonly associated with golf and other sports reliant on arm use, but can also arise from other recurring activities such as painting, hammering, typing, gardening and playing musical instruments.
What are the signs and symptoms of the Golfer's Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow symptoms may include pain, swelling and a weakened grip. Patients may also experience numbness or tingling sensations in the ring and little fingers.
How is the condition diagnosed?
Mr Soong Chua and his team will begin with your medical history and a physical examination to assess your pain and range of movement. They may then move onto imaging tests such as x-rays, ultrasound or an MRI scan.
What are the treatment options for Golfer's Elbow?
Mr Soong Chua will consider a range of medial epicondylitis treatment options, including:
- Rest and/or Activity modification
- Splints or braces
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen)
- Steroid injection– to reduce inflammation
- Physiotherapy – to stretch and strengthen the forearm
- Ultrasound – to increase blood flow and promote healing
- Surgical Repair – if non-invasive golfer’s elbow treatment proves to be ineffective in your situation, Mr Soong Chua may recommend surgery to repair damaged tendons. Surgery is generally considered in patients who have had symptoms for over 6 months and have undergone at least 3 months of physiotherapy, but show little improvement.