Golfer's elbow


Golfer's elbow
Golfer's elbow
Classification and external resources

Left elbow-joint, showing anterior and ulnar collateral ligaments. (Medial epicondyle labeled at center top.)
ICD-10 M77.0
ICD-9 726.31
DiseasesDB 5356
eMedicine sports/74 pmr/74

Golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is an inflammatory condition of the medial epicondyle of the elbow. It is in some ways similar to tennis elbow.

The anterior forearm contains several muscles that are involved with flexing the fingers and thumb, and flexing and pronating the wrist. The tendons of these muscle come together in a common tendinous sheath, which is inserted into the medial epicondyle of the humerus at the elbow joint. In response to minor injury, or sometimes for no obvious reason at all, this point of insertion becomes inflamed.

Contents

Causes

The condition is called Golfer's Elbow because in making a golf swing this tendon is stressed, especially if a non-overlapping (baseball style) grip is used; many people, however, who develop the condition have never handled a golf club. It is also sometimes called Pitcher's Elbow[1] due to the same tendon being stressed by the throwing of objects such as a baseball, but this usage is much less frequent. Other names are Climber's Elbow and Little League Elbow: All of the flexors of the fingers insert at the medial epichondyle, making this the most common elbow injury for rock climbers, whose sport is very grip intensive.

Treatment

Non-specific palliative treatments include:


Before anesthetics and steroids are used, conservative treatment with an occupational therapist is attempted. Before therapy can commence, treatment such as the common rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) will typically be used. This will help to decrease the pain and inflammation. The rest will help with the discomfort seeing as how Golfer's Elbow is an overuse injury. The patient can use a tennis elbow splint for compression. A pad can be placed anteromedially on the proximal forearm.[2] The splint is made in 30–45 degrees of elbow flexion. A daytime elbow pad also may be useful, by limiting additional trauma to the nerve.

Therapy will include a variety of exercises for muscle/tendon reconditioning, starting with stretching and gradual strengthening of the flexor-pronator muscles. Strengthening will slowly begin with isometrics and progresses to eccentric exercises helping to extend the range of motion back to where it once was. After the strengthening exercises, it is common for the patient to ice the area.[2]

Simple analgesic medication has a place, as does more specific treatment with oral anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). These will help control pain and any inflammation.[2] A more invasive treatment is the injection into and around the inflamed and tender area of a long-acting glucocorticoid (steroid) agent.[citation needed] After causing an initial exacerbation of symptoms lasting 24 to 48 hours, this may produce a resolution of the condition in some five to seven days.[citation needed]

The ulnar nerve runs in the groove between the medial humeral epicondyle and the olecranon process of the ulna. It is most important that this nerve should not be damaged accidentally in the process of injecting a Golfer's Elbow.

If all else fails, epicondylar debridement (a surgery) may be effective.[citation needed] The ulnar nerve may also be decompressed surgically.[2]

The overall prognosis is good. Few patients will need to progress to steroid injection and even fewer, less than 10%, will need surgical intervention.[2]

See also

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • golfer's elbow — noun A painful inflammation of the medial epicondyle of the elbow caused by overuse of the flexor muscles of the lower arm. Syn: medial epicondylitis …   Wiktionary

  • golfer's elbow — inflammation of the origin of the common flexor tendon on the medial epicondyle of the humerus (medial epicondylitis), caused by overuse of the forearm muscles. Treatment is by rest, anti inflammatory medication, or steroid injection. Compare… …   Medical dictionary

  • golfer's elbow — inflammation of the origin of the common flexor tendon on the medial epicondyle of the humerus (medial epicondylitis), caused by overuse of the forearm muscles. Treatment is by rest, anti inflammatory medication, or steroid injection. Compare:… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • Elbow — For other uses, see Elbow (disambiguation). Elbow Latin articulatio cubiti Gray s …   Wikipedia

  • Elbow — Three long bones meet in the middle portion of the arm at the elbow joint. The bone of the upper arm (humerus) meets both the ulna (the inner bone of the forearm) and radius (the outer bone of the forearm) to form a hinge joint. The radius and… …   Medical dictionary

  • Elbow joint — Three long bones meet in the middle portion of the arm at the elbow joint. The bone of the upper arm (humerus) meets both the ulna (the inner bone of the forearm) and radius (the outer bone of the forearm) to form a hinge joint. And the radius… …   Medical dictionary

  • Elbow, golfer’s — The inner portion of the elbow is a bony prominence called the medial epicondyle. Tendons from the muscles attach here and can be injured, causing medial epicondylitis. To those who play the ancient Scottish sport, this is "golfer’s… …   Medical dictionary

  • Golfer’s cramp — A dystonia that affects the muscles of the hand and sometimes the forearm and only occurs when playing golf. Similar focal dystonias have also been called typist’s cramp, pianist’s cramp, musician’s cramp, and writer’s cramp.… …   Medical dictionary

  • Tennis elbow — Infobox Disease Name = Tennis elbow Caption = Left elbow joint, showing posterior and radial collateral ligaments. (Lateral epicondyle visible at center.) DiseasesDB = 12950 ICD10 = ICD10|M|77|1|m|70 ICD9 = ICD9|726.32 ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus …   Wikipedia

  • Joint, elbow — Three long bones meet in the middle portion of the arm at the elbow joint. The bone of the upper arm (humerus) meets both the ulna (the inner bone of the forearm) and radius (the outer bone of the forearm) to form a hinge joint. And the radius… …   Medical dictionary


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