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FOREARM TENDON TIGHTNESS


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

This condition has many names including lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow. There is a much less common version on the inside of the elbow often called medial epicondylitis. The muscles in the forearm involved with gripping have a thick band inside them that doesn't stretch at all. Overuse or misuse of these muscles causes excessive traction and minor tearing on the muscle attachment point at the elbow.  Also tension in the muscle causes the thick band to put pressure on a nerve that runs underneath the muscle. Although the patient doesn't know it, he or she is probably using the arm the wrong way and needs to develop ergonomically correct habits.  See also Radial Tunnel Syndrome.

MEDICAL HISTORY: Sharp pain at the side of the elbow and aching pain in the forearm are the main symptoms that are usually made worse by gripping or trying to lift anything. When advanced, it can even be difficult to straighten the elbow.

EXAMINATION: The outside of the elbow and the upper forearm are tender to applied pressure. Cocking the wrist or fingers back against resistance is painful. Stretching the muscle or straightening the elbow can be difficult.

ADDITIONAL TESTS: None are needed.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

  NON-OPERATIVE SURGICAL RELEASE
CONSISTS OF Stretching, muscle conditioning and ergonomic training Dividing the thick band while leaving the muscle alone
FEATURES Makes the muscle group more elastic with less pressure on nerve and less tension on attachment point Short incision, outpatient, immediate use for light activities
ADVANTAGES Avoids surgery Definitive solution to problem
DISADVANTAGES Only works on muscle tissue, if band is too thick will not be successful Temporary period of weakness where arm cannot be used for heavy activity

RECOVERY

Light everyday activities are allowed immediately. Sutures are removed in the office at 2 weeks. Rehabilitation begins soon after surgery with the same stretching exercises done during the non-operative treatment program. Strengthening comes next along with endurance as the patient prepares to return to heavy activities. Powerful use of the arm doesn't usually occur until several months after surgery as the healing tissues become more mature.
 
 
 
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  • Mark is great and so is Luis (I would give Luis a raise!!) - 09/27/16
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  • only wish I would have come here before having surgery done elsewhere. - 11/30/16
  • Staff exceptional and Dr. Henry is as well. - 11/15/16
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  • At every interaction with your office: consultation with Dr. Henry, day of surgery, need for prescription refills, all follow-up visits, I felt comfortable, welcome, and well informed. On the day of my last visit, I am very optimistic about the function of my left hand. Thank you. - 09/07/16
  • Great staff, Great Doctor, Great surgery, recovery, and follow up. Thank you for the time and attention with helping me through the entire process. I felt very comfortable and safe with the entire process. - 02/10/17
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  • Dr Henry is a wonderful Dr. and I would highly recommend to others - 02/07/17
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  • Amazing people. Luis, Joel and Teresa, and Dr. Henry... I appreciate all of you. Your staff is outstanding. - 09/14/16
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  • Thank you to everyone here with my surgery and healing process! I really felt comfortable with everyone on the staff and feel as though I came to the best place possible for my surgery. THANK YOU!!!! - 09/09/16
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  • Dr. Henry has the best verbal skills I have witness on a physician; and, I have been a physician myself for decades! - 12/01/16
  • thank you for all you have done! I recommend you foranyone that is having any problems via hand wrist. Amazing surgon and doctor!!! - 02/01/17
  • The Doc is awesome and his staff is on their game, the wait can be a little long but you get that when you are dealing with elite care. - 09/19/16
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  • Luis was very kind and helpful with all of my questions and concerns. He also assisted me with obtaining supplies for my brace and hand until I can get to therapy. - 10/21/16
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  • The staff was great. David was very helpful with my surgery scheduling and questions. Luis was fabulous when I needed help with changing my dressing. Joel was nice helping me with the undoing of the dressing. Great group to be a patient of. - 12/13/16
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