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Tennis Elbow Specialist

David Lintner, MD

Sports Medicine Physicians & Orthopedic Surgeons located in Houston, TX & Baytown, TX

About half of all tennis players get tennis elbow at some point in their careers, but this injury can result from any activity that strains the forearm muscles. Orthopedic sports medicine specialist David Lintner, MD, evaluates and treats tennis elbow at two locations in Houston and Baytown, Texas. To find relief from tennis elbow, call one of the offices or book an appointment online today.

Tennis Elbow Q&A

What is tennis elbow?

Also called lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is an overuse injury that causes inflammation in the tendons on the outside of your elbow. Golfer’s elbow is a similar condition that affects the tendons on the inside of the joint. 

Symptoms of tennis elbow develop gradually and aren’t usually associated with a specific injury. You may notice a mild pain or burning sensation that slowly worsens over the course of several weeks or months. Weak grip strength is another common symptom of tennis elbow. 

If you think you may have tennis elbow, Dr. Lintner can help. As head team physician for the Houston Astros, he specializes in injuries to pitchers’ shoulders and elbows. 

What causes tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is often the result of damage to a muscle in your forearm called the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB). This muscle helps you stabilize the wrist when your elbow is straight, like when swinging a tennis racquet. 

Many activities aside from tennis can lead to tennis elbow. People who work with their hands, such as painters, plumbers, and cooks, are also at high risk. 

How is tennis elbow diagnosed?

Dr. Lintner considers many details when making a tennis elbow diagnosis. He asks how your symptoms started and reviews any risk factors due to sports participation or your occupation. He examines your elbow and may ask you to move your hand and wrist in an attempt to reproduce symptoms.

What treatments are available for tennis elbow?

Dr. Lintner’s goal is to help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals without surgery, if possible. When surgery is necessary, he employs the highest-quality techniques to ensure optimal results. 

About 80-95% of people with tennis elbow have success with nonsurgical treatments, such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Bracing the forearm
  • Steroid injections
  • Checking athletic equipment for a proper fit

He may also recommend orthobiologic treatments, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cells. 

If your symptoms don’t resolve with conservative treatment, you may need surgery. Dr. Lintner uses minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery whenever possible, but open surgery is a more common approach to treating tennis elbow. 

For expert care of tennis elbow, call the office of David Lintner, MD, or book an appointment online today.