What is the role of surgery in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)?

Updated: Oct 30, 2018
  • Author: Bryant James Walrod, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Answer

Surgical intervention can be very effective for refractory cases of lateral epicondylitis, with a large percentage of individuals reporting improvement in their symptoms. However, surgical intervention is only indicated after 6 months of conservative care has failed to relieve the patient's symptoms. A long-term follow-up study (mean, 130 mo; range, 106-173 mo) of arthroscopic treatment of recalcitrant lateral epicondylitis by Baker and Baker demonstrated that arthroscopic removal of pathologic tendinosis tissue can be a successful treatment strategy in such cases. [43]

See the image below.

Representation of the relationships in arthroscopi Representation of the relationships in arthroscopic release for lateral epicondylitis.

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