Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylosis)

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylosis, is an injury of your tendons where the forearm muscles join the outer part of your elbow. Long-term injury to your tendons, or chronic tendinopathy, is a condition of a tendon injury at a cellular level that does not heal and remains painful despite rest. Tennis elbow is one of the most common chronic tendinopathies. This condition typically occurs in people that use their forearm muscles in the same repetitive motions again and again. Although this condition is named tennis elbow, many non-racquet sports–related actions could cause pain on the outer elbow. Professionals such as painters, autoworkers, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and butchers often suffer from this condition.


  • Pain or burning on the outer part of the elbow
  • Weak grip strength


There are nonsurgical and surgical treatments options available for tennis elbow (lateral epicondylosis). Both treatment types are performed by our elbow specialist at Orthopaedic Specialists. 

Nonsurgical Treatments

About 90% of patients with tennis elbow improve with conservative treatment such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, rest, elbow straps, physical therapy, and steroid injections. While steroid injections frequently help alleviate acute pain associated with tennis elbow, newer literature suggests that it may actually be harmful to the tendon itself. Patients who do not respond to conservative treatment may be candidates for surgery.

Open Surgical Treatment

During the open surgical procedure, the surgeon removes the diseased muscle and either repairs the tendon or reattaches the healthy muscle back to the bone with an anchor.