How is Tennis Elbow Diagnosed?

Tennis elbow is diagnosed through a physical examination to identify the presentation of the injury. The doctor may carefully place some pressure on the injured site or gently manipulate the elbow, wrist, and fingers so as to examine the level of pain, swelling, and stiffness in the elbow joint.

Tennis elbow doctors in Singapore may perform imaging tests such as an X-ray to identify and rule out possible underlying conditions (e.g. arthritis) that may be causing the pain. They may also use a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to provide detailed views of soft tissues, muscles, and tendons in the area, as well as electromyography (EMG) to detect nerve compression.

What Are the Treatments for Tennis Elbow?

Most cases of tennis elbow heal on their own with time and conservative measures, and often do not require surgery. Some non-surgical tennis elbow treatments in Singapore include:

  • Rest - Resting the arm is important in order to allow the tendons to heal.
  • Medications - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help relieve pain and swelling.
  • Physiotherapy - A physiotherapist may suggest arm exercises and muscle stimulation techniques to improve strength and flexibility, and reduce pain and stiffness.
  • Brace - Patients may be asked to use a support brace to relieve tension in the muscles and tendons.
  • Steroid Injections - In some cases, the doctor may apply corticosteroid injections into the affected area to temporarily ease pain and swelling.
  • Platelet-rich Plasma - This form of elbow pain treatment involves taking a small blood sample from the patient, centrifuging it to obtain platelets, and injecting the concentrated platelets into the injured area to promote healing.
  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy - This therapy utilises sound waves to dissolve scar tissue non-invasively for a more effective healing process. It also helps improve blood flow to the injured area.
Surgical Procedures

When non-surgical treatments fail to relieve symptoms, patients may be asked to consider tennis elbow surgery in Singapore, which involves the removal of damaged tendons and muscles and replacing them with healthy tissues. Doctors may suggest the following procedures:

  • Open Surgery - This involves a large incision being made just beneath the elbow in order to access the affected area. This involves removing damaged tendons and muscles and, in some cases, reattaching them to the bone.
  • Arthroscopic Surgery - This procedure involves the insertion of a small scope (arthroscope) into the elbow joint through small incisions. This surgery has a shorter recovery period and results in reduced joint stiffness and pain.
What Is the Recovery Process for Tennis Elbow Treatment?

When undergoing tennis elbow surgery in Singapore, the affected area may remain sore for a few weeks. The doctor may prescribe medication and an elbow splint for a period of about 7 to 10 days. The patient will also be expected to adhere to a rehabilitation programme with a physiotherapist so as to facilitate complete healing in the long run.

How Can You Prevent Tennis Elbow?

The following steps should be taken to reduce the risk of tennis elbow:

  • Use lightweight equipment and proper technique when participating in sports or performing daily tasks.
  • Perform exercises aimed at maintaining forearm strength and flexibility.
  • The elbow area should be iced following vigorous physical activity.
  • Rest the elbow if bending or straightening the arm causes pain.
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