Golfer’s Elbow Surgery

There are three main surgical options available for treating golfer’s elbow, each with its own procedure:

  1. Open Surgery: This is the most traditional method. The surgeon makes an incision on the elbow and removes the damaged tissue, then repairs the tendon.
  2. Arthroscopic Surgery: This is a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon makes small incisions around the elbow and inserts a tiny camera, called an arthroscope, to guide the removal of damaged tissue and repair of the tendon.
  3. Percutaneous Tenotomy: Also known as Tenex procedure, this involves the surgeon using ultrasound guidance to insert a small needle into the affected tendon. High-frequency sound waves are used to break down and remove the damaged tissue.

Expected Surgery Outcome

Golfer’s elbow surgery is primarily aimed at relieving pain and restoring normal function to the elbow. Most patients experience significant pain reduction and an enhancement in elbow strength and functionality. Following a period of postoperative rehabilitation, most patients are able to return to their regular activities.

Potential surgery complications and risks

While complications from golfer’s elbow surgery are not common, potential issues may include infection, nerve damage, bleeding, and loss of range of motion in the elbow. There’s also a possibility of an adverse reaction to anaesthesia.

Risks

  • Infection: All surgeries carry a risk of infection, though it is rare.
  • Nerve Damage: Nerves close to the surgical site may inadvertently be damaged during the procedure, potentially leading to numbness or weakness.
  • Bleeding: As with any surgery, there is always a possibility of bleeding.
  • Postoperative Stiffness: Some patients may experience stiffness in their elbow following surgery, which is often manageable with physiotherapy.

Recovery after surgery

After surgery, a period of physiotherapy is usually recommended to restore strength and mobility to the elbow. The recovery period can vary among individuals, but most patients can expect to return to normal activities within 3 to 6 months after surgery. Activities involving heavy lifting or strenuous use of the arm may require a longer recovery period.