Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
Medial epicondylitis is similar to tennis elbow, but it happens on the opposite side of the elbow. The symptoms arise from a wear and tear process centered just distal to the medial epicondyle (the bony prominence on the inside of the elbow) called the medial conjoint tendon. The medial conjoint tendon serves as the attachment site for some of the muscles involved in wrist flexion. Patients experience pain with wrist flexion, making tight fists and activities like resisted elbow flexion (for example: performing a biceps curl). The symptoms of medial epicondylitis can range in severity from very mild, to extremely severe and painful.
Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow) Diagram
Most cases of medial epicondylitis can be effectively treated nonoperatively. The mainstay of treatment involves bracing (wrist splints) and physical therapy. Anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections are often used for pain control, although medial epicondylitis is not a true ‘inflammation’ of the tendons. The goal of non-operative treatment is to allow the tendon to heal, which will improve your symptoms. Surgery can be used in recalcitrant cases after a failure of non-operative treatment, but is usually only performed after several months of non-operative treatment. Dr. Walker will help you make the best decision for your care.