#condition - Elbow

‘Golfers’ Elbow

‘Golfers elbow’ is a condition where the inner part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. Although commonly associated with golf the condition can affect almost anybody. The condition is also known as medial epicondylitis, although histologic studies have shown no evidence of an inflammatory process.

What symptoms does it cause?

Forearm ant

Patients usually describe pain located towards the inner part of the arm. There is often local tenderness in the affected area (medial epicondyle – a prominent part of the bone on the inside of the elbow). Some patients describe stiffness of the elbow, particularly in the morning.  Shaking hands or grasping objects may be painful.

Who does it usually affect ?

Medial epicondylitis commonly occurs between the ages of 30 and 60.

What causes it?

It is a degenerative, non-inflammatory condition affecting the origin of  the flexor / pronator muscles of the forearm.

Diagnosing 'Golfers Elbow'

The diagnosis is made by clinical signs and symptoms which are usually fairly characteristic. There is usually point tenderness over the medial epicondyle. There should also be pain on resisted testing of the affected muscles (wrist flexion and pronation).

Investigations

An X-ray will not normally show any abnormality. An MRI typically shows fluid in the origin  of the affected muscles.

How does the condition progress ?

Depending on the severity of the tendon injury healing may be incomplete. The condition may progress from reversible local degeneration to non-reversible changes, to rupture of the muscle origins and finally secondary changes of  fibrosis or calcification may occur.