Lateral epicondylitis of the elbow

Am J Med. 2013 Apr;126(4):357.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2012.09.018. Epub 2013 Feb 8.


Lateral epicondylitis, or "tennis elbow," is a common musculotendinous degenerative disorder of the extensor origin at the lateral humeral epicondyle. Repetitive occupational or athletic activities involving wrist extension and supination are thought to be causative. The typical symptoms include lateral elbow pain, pain with wrist extension, and weakened grip strength. The diagnosis is made clinically through history and physical examination; however, a thorough understanding of the differential diagnosis is imperative to prevent unnecessary testing and therapies. Most patients improve with nonoperative measures, such as activity modification, physical therapy, and injections. A small percentage of patients will require surgical release of the extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon. Common methods of release may be performed via percutaneous, arthroscopic, or open approaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Elbow Joint* / anatomy & histology
  • Elbow Joint* / physiopathology
  • Elbow Joint* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tendons / surgery*
  • Tennis Elbow* / diagnosis
  • Tennis Elbow* / therapy
  • Tenotomy / methods