Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Epicondylitis Lateral Overview

Another name for Epicondylitis Lateral is Lateral Epicondylitis.

What is lateral epicondylitis?
A person with lateral epicondylitis has inflammation of the lateral epicondyle. The lateral epicondyle is part of the humerus bone, near the elbow. Tendons attach the muscles of the forearm to the lateral epicondyle. Strenuous use of the forearm muscles can cause inflammation of the bone where the tendons attach to the lateral epicondyle. Most cases of lateral epicondylitis resolve over 4-6 weeks with treatment and rest.

What are the symptoms of lateral epicondylitis?
Symptoms of lateral epicondylitis include elbow pain that is located along the outer aspect of the elbow. The pain worsens with extension of the wrist, and while grasping an object with the hand. Additional symptoms include elbow tenderness, elbow swelling, and hand weakness (unilateral).

How does the doctor treat lateral epicondylitis?
The treatment for lateral epicondylitis may include rest, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment for lateral epicondylitis may include physical therapy, narcotic pain medications, and corticosteroid injections.

Continue to Epicondylitis Lateral Risk Factors

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Epicondylitis Lateral References
  1. Borkholder CD, Hill VA, Fess EE. The efficacy of splinting for lateral epicondylitis: a systematic review. J Hand Ther. 2004 Apr-Jun;17(2):181-99. [15162105]
  2. Lewis M, Hay EM, Paterson SM, Croft P. Local steroid injections for tennis elbow: does the pain get worse before it gets better?: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Clin J Pain. 2005 Jul-Aug;21(4):330-4. [15951651]
  3. Smidt N, Assendelft WJ, van der Windt DA, Hay EM, Buchbinder R, Bouter LM. Corticosteroid injections for lateral epicondylitis: a systematic review. Pain. 2002 Mar;96(1-2):23-40. [11932058]
  4. Trudel D, Duley J, Zastrow I, Kerr EW, Davidson R, MacDermid JC. Rehabilitation for patients with lateral epicondylitis: a systematic review. J Hand Ther. 2004 Apr-Jun;17(2):243-66. [15162109]
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