Tennis elbow is an overuse and muscle strain injury. The cause is repeated contraction of the forearm muscles that you use to straighten and raise your hand and wrist. The repeated motions and stress to the tissue may result in a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bony prominence at the outside of your elbow.
As the name suggests, playing tennis — especially repeated use of the backhand stroke with poor technique — is one possible cause of tennis elbow. However, many other common arm motions can cause tennis elbow, including:
Jun. 29, 2013
- Using plumbing tools
- Driving screws
- Cutting up cooking ingredients, particularly meat
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed April 16, 2013.
- Jayanthi N. Epicondylitis (tennis and golf elbow). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 16, 2013.
- Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1584/0.html. Accessed April 16, 2013.
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00068&webid=25D9E156. Accessed April 16, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Lateral elbow tendinopathy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 17, 2013.
- Koh JS, et al. Fasciotomy and surgical tenotomy for recalcitrant lateral elbow tendinopathy: Early clinical experience with a novel device for minimally invasive percutaneous microresection. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2013;41:636.
- Revolutionary treatment of tennis elbow. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/annualreport/2011/innovation/tennis_elbow.html. Accessed April 18, 2013.
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