What is Golfer’s Elbow?


The piece of bone that can be felt on the inner side of the elbow is called the medial epicondyle. When the tendons attached to this bone are overstretched or torn, they become inflamed and painful.
While commonly called golfer’s elbow, this ailment is not restricted to people who play golf. It can occur in tennis players and other people who repeatedly grip objects tightly.

Medial Epicondylitis

Elbow Injuries


The elbow is a hinge joint consisting of three bones that serve as the mechanical link between the upper arm and forearm. The normal range of motion of the elbow is zero degrees of extension (straightening) to 150 degrees of flexion (bending), although an arc of motion from 30 to 130 degrees is sufficient to perform most activities of daily life.

Elbow injuries are relatively common among athletes. Adolescents and older adults are most at risk — adolescents because their bones and ligaments are still growing, and older adults because their ligaments and tendons lose normal elasticity with age.

Golfer’s elbow is caused by overusing the flexor muscles of the forearms. Overusing these muscles can stretch or tear the tendons attached to the medial epicondyle.

Golfer's Elbow

Diagnosis


Symptoms of golfer’s elbow:

  • pain or tenderness on the inner side of the elbow

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, your recent physical activity, and how the injury occurred. You may not remember the event that caused the injury because golfer’s elbow pain develops over time.

Clinical Examination of golfer’s elbow:

The doctor will examine your elbow for:

  • doing certain arm motions
  • pressing on the medial epicondyle
  • stiffness of elbow and pain with wrist movement

X-rays are not usually necessary, but the doctor may decide to x-ray your elbow to:

  • make sure the bones of the elbow are normal
  • look for a calcium deposit in the injured tendons

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