Stemcelldoc's Weblog

February 4, 2009

Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral epicondylitis otherwise known as tennis elbow is a overuse injury involving the extensor muscles that originate on the bony prominence (epicondyle) on the outside (lateral) aspect of the elbow.  It is more properly termed a tendinosis that specifically involves the origin of the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle.  Nirschl and Pettrone attributed the cause of lateral epicondylitis to be tearing in the origin of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle.

flexor-carpi-radicalis

The extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle originates from the lateral epicondyle. It functions to move the wrist so that the hand moves away from the palm and towards the thumb.

Many patients with tennis elbow are involved in work or recreational activities that require repetitive use of the forearm muscle. Pain can be  severe and burning  localized on the outside part of the elbow.   In most cases the pain starts slowly and escalates over weeks or months.

Conservative therapy includes limiting repetitive use of the forearm.  Orthotics can only help diminish symptoms of tennis elbow.lateral-epicondyle-brace1

These can reduce symptoms by resting the muscles and tendons.  The surgical procedure involves removing diseased tendon tissue and reattaching normal tendon tissue to bone.

lateral-epidcondyle-surgery

Alternative therapies include prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy.  At Regenexx patients are able to use their own stem cells to regenerate torn ligaments and tendons.

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