Tennis Elbow Surgery

There are primarily two approaches to treating tennis elbow surgically:

  1. Open Surgery: The surgeon makes an incision over the elbow. Damaged muscle is removed, and the tendon is repaired with sutures. The incision is then closed with stitches.
  2. Arthroscopic Surgery: This minimally invasive procedure involves a few small incisions through which a camera (arthroscope) and surgical tools are inserted. Damaged tissue is removed, and the tendon is repaired.

Expected Surgery Outcome

The main goal of tennis elbow surgery is to relieve pain and restore function to the elbow. Most patients experience a significant reduction in pain and improved elbow strength and functionality. After a period of rehabilitation, patients can usually return to their normal activities.

Potential surgery complications and risks

While complications from tennis elbow surgery are uncommon, they can occur. These may include infection, nerve damage, bleeding, and stiffness or loss of motion in the elbow. An adverse reaction to anaesthesia is also possible.

Risks

  • Infection: All surgeries carry a risk of infection, although this is rare.
  • Nerve Damage: The nerves near the surgical site may be accidentally damaged during the procedure, leading to numbness or weakness.
  • Bleeding: There is always a risk of bleeding with any surgery.
  • Postoperative Stiffness: Some patients may experience stiffness in their elbow after surgery, which can typically be managed with physiotherapy.

Recovery after surgery

Following surgery, a period of physiotherapy is typically recommended to restore strength and mobility to the elbow. The recovery period can vary from person to person, but most patients can expect to return to normal activities within 3 to 6 months after surgery. Activities that involve heavy lifting or strenuous use of the arm may require a longer recovery period.