Epicondylitis–Medial and Lateral
Medial and lateral epicondylitis are the medical terms for the conditions more commonly referred to as tennis elbow (the lateral form of the condition) and golfer’s elbow (the medial form). These conditions are caused by overuse of the tendons in the elbow. Though most often associated with golfing, racquet sports and throwing activities, these injuries are also prevalent in archers, bowlers and weight lifters.
Golfer’s elbow, medial epicondylitis, is the inflammation of the tendons on the inner portion of the elbow whereas tennis elbow, lateral epicondylitis, affects the outside portion of the elbow. Symptoms of these conditions include radiating pain that impacts the wrist and forearm, pain when flexing the wrist, forearm weakness, pain when attempting to grip items, loss of grip and progressively worsening pain.
Common causes of these conditions include:
Elbows that are weak or that have poor flexibility or poor endurance are more susceptible to developing medial and lateral epicondylitis.
Traditional treatment options for epicondylitis include icing the joint, resting the affected arm, over-the-counter pain relievers and use of strengthening exercises. The often debilitating pain associated with these conditions can last for several months or even become chronic if not effectively treated. If these conventional treatments do not work to improve the symptoms in a reasonable time, surgery will likely be recommended.
In situations where surgery is the last option orthopedic doctors are choosing to utilize alternative regenerative and orthopedic treatments. The National Institue of Regenerative Medicine is forging the path in this hybrid field of regenerative techniques and traditional orthopedic medicine.
Innovative treatments that include cell-based therapy, supplements, growth factors and platelet rich plasma are injected into the injured area. These treatments have proven incredibly effective in reducing inflammation, easing pain and promoting the healing of the damaged tissues. Depending on the severity of the epicondylitis, treatment generally includes an injection of Growth Factors and platelet rich plasma, which involves drawing blood from the patient and spinning it to separate the components. The platelets are then injected into the inflamed tissue. This form of treatment utilizes growth factor to ease pain, reduce inflammation and promote healing in the tissue. The healing process using such treatments takes approximately one to three months.