Tennis Elbow can occur even if you don’t play tennis. Repeatedly gripping and twisting your hand and wrist causes strain on your forearm tendons near your elbow, leading to inflammation and pain. You may feel pain when you grip something small or when you bend, lift or twist your lower arm. Tennis Elbow Release is a minor surgical procedure aimed at reducing stress on the joint and relieving pain.
The procedure for tennis elbow release takes about 15-30 minutes and can be done as an outpatient procedure. It’s traditionally done under general anesthesia, but it’s increasingly being done under local anesthesia, so you can go home soon afterward.
There are three options for the surgeon depending on the state of your tendon and the severity of your pain. The surgeon will make a small incision near your elbow along the arm and inspect the tendon. He will either cut (release) the tendon, repair any tears or reattach the tendon or remove tissue or bone spurs that could be inflaming the tendon.
The surgeon then closes your incision with stitches, staples, or surgical adhesive and dress the wound. He’ll then put your arm in a sling, where it will need to remain while you recover. You will receive pain medication and will be allowed to go home after our health team confirms you are not in any discomfort and will be safe at home. You will not be allowed to drive for at least a week after the procedure, so you will need a ride home.
For the first 3-5 days, you’ll need to keep the dressing and wound clean and dry. You cannot immerse the wound in water, so you may have to alter how you take a shower or bath. Continue taking your pain medication as long as you need it. You may reduce to over-the-counter pain medication as you continue to improve.
If you have non-dissolvable stitches or staples, you’ll need to return in 10-14 days to have your stitches or staples removed. Once your wound is dry and completely healed, you can begin taking baths normally again.
Part of your recovery will include physiotherapy, which we will arrange for you. It is essential that you regularly attend physiotherapy. The amount of repair during your surgery will determine the length of your recovery, but it can take 4-6 months before you can resume sports activities.
Most patients eventually return to normal activities after this surgery.
Complications from this surgery are rare but can include a stiff elbow, nerve damage, continued pain, or arthritis.