The tissues that attach your bones to your muscles are called tendons. When your muscles flex, tendons spring into action, helping to move your bones. It is easy to injure the tendons in the arms and hands, since we use them so often. Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon that causes pain near a joint. It generally develops when an accident or injury cuts or damages the tendon.
Tennis elbow is the common term for one of the most common types of tendinitis. It is an overuse injury that causes an inflammation of the tendon fibers that attach the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow. As the name suggests, tennis players, as well as golf players and other athletes, often suffer from this type of tendinitis. But it can also affect you if you twist your wrist repeatedly on a regular basis, or if you type on a computer keyboard without proper support.
At Georgetown University Hospital, we treat tendinitis with a unique combination of experience and innovation. Our orthopedic surgeons [LINK TO: Doctors] are all fellowship trained in hand surgery and care exclusively for hand and upper extremity problems. We perform about 1,000 surgeries each year using the most advanced treatment methods and technology. We serve as the area’s referral center for the most difficult cases.
Every patient we see receives a thorough and precise diagnosis. We think creatively about how to resolve your tendinitis, no matter how complex your condition. We will work together with you to develop a treatment plan that will effectively treat your tendinitis, but that will also meet the demands of your daily life. While you recover, we help you find a balance between being able to move your hand and fingers, while also keeping them steady to allow your injury to heal.
Tendinitis and Tennis Elbow Treatment at MedStar Georgetown
Although tendinitis can be painful, the good news is that it rarely becomes chronic if caught early and treated properly with the following
- Rest and avoiding activities that cause your pain
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
- Cortisone injections
- Ceasing or changing your activity
- Wrist splints
- Physical therapy
If surgery becomes necessary, arthroscopic procedures are minimally invasive, provide a relatively short recovery period, and can produce long-lasting results.
The orthopedic surgeons at Georgetown are experienced in the most advanced and innovative surgical procedures for the treatment of tendinitis and tennis elbow. A common procedure is arthroscopic surgery.
- Arthroscopy: In this procedure, your orthopedic surgeons will insert an arthroscope, or special thin tube, into your affected tendons. The arthroscope uses a small camera and lights to beam images of the affected area onto a screen for your surgeons to see. The surgeons will then insert specialized instruments to repair any damage. Georgetown offers the most advanced arthroscopic surgical technology in the region.
- Open Surgery: In this procedure, your orthopedic surgeons will make an incision and take out your affected tendon. The tendons that remain will heal back down to the bone.