Golfers / Tennis Elbow

Plymouth Orthopaedic and Sports Injury Clinic

(Medial / lateral epicondylitis)

What is it?

Inflammation / tear of the origin of the flexor muscles at the inner aspect of the elbow (golfers) or extensor muscles at the outer aspect of the elbow (tennis).


Pain felt at the inner or outer aspect of the elbow when gripping objects or using the hand. The elbow may be tender to touch.

What causes it?

Repetitive use or a minor injury may cause inflammation of the origin of the muscles where they are attached to bone at the elbow.


Rest – avoidance of repetitive action. May resolve over time (can take years)
Pain relief – anti-inflammatory medication or topical gels
Splint – a strap around the forearm may help by reducing muscle tension
Steroid injection – can give excellent pain relief but symptoms may return.
Surgery – release of the inflamed muscle under day-case general anaesthetic

Will it come back?

Recurrence is common, but less likely following surgery.