Tennis and Golfer's elbow are similar problems related to pain and dysfunction of tendons around the elbow.
Tennis elbow affects the outside of the elbow and Golfer's affects the inside but the underlying pathology is similar.
They are related to chronic inflammation of tendon insertion points and may be very well managed by appropriate physiotherapy and simple painkillers
There may be a role for the injection of steroid as a diagnostic test. It may also be that a steroid injection may buy a window of opportunity for the physiotherapy to have a more profound effect. Repeated steroid injection may however cause detrimental side effects.
There is a role for surgical release of tennis and golfer's elbow in those recalcitrant cases.
Click here for an article published in the Eastern Daily Press regarding tennis elbow.
Ulnar Nerve release
The ulnar nerve is the 'funny bone'.
It is not uncommon for it to become compressed as it crosses the elbow causing pins and needles in the little and ring fingers
If these syptoms persist and non-operatibe management (splints etc) has failed there may be a role for surgical decompression. If after the nerve has been decompressed it is unstable then occasionally it needs to be moved forwards (anterior transposition)
Keyhole surgery on the elbow is possible and is a good way of managing several pathologies.
It is mainly used in the management of loose bodies in the elbow which may be causing the elbow to lock.
Surgery for arthritis of the elbow
Arthritis is a common problem at the elbow. In keeping with arthritis elsewhere the initial managment should always be non-surgical with analgesia and gentle physiotherapy. There may also be a role for injection of steroid.
Depending on the location of the arthritis within the elbow there may be a role for arthroscopic surgery, open surgery to debride the arthritic joint to increase range of movement, or even partial or total elbow replacements.