Elbow dislocation occurs when the tendon attaching the forearm muscles to the humerus becomes inflamed by repetition of the same action.
What Is Tennis Elbow Dislocation?
Tennis Elbow Dislocation involves inflammation of the outer side of the elbow at the point of origin of the extensor muscles of the forearm. It is not arthritis, as it does not affect the elbow joint itself.
This condition is an inflammation of the extensor tendons attached to the bony prominence at the lower end of the humerus, on the outside of the elbow. This results in pain and tenderness around this area. Tennis Elbow Dislocation is caused by repeated bending of the elbow or twisting the forearm while gripping tightly.
Tennis Elbow Dislocation is not confined to sportspeople and may develop if your job involves overworking the muscles on the back of the forearm that bend the wrist and fingers upwards (extensors).
It can also result from repetitive housework or gardening tasks that work the forearm muscles. It often occurs after unaccustomed, repetitive exercise, such as hedge cutting.
The pain will increase when you lift or carry anything, and may spread to the forearm or upper arm. Resting the painful arm alleviates the discomfort, and wearing strapping or a brace may help.
If the pain is not eased by these measures, a steroid injection may be needed. In cases which do not respond to medication, surgery may be necessary to reduce the pressure on the affected tendons.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow Dislocation
Pain and tenderness in the bone area on the outside of the elbow.
Pain is most severe when straightening the elbow against resistance, such as when hitting a tennis ball, or lifting a heavy object.
Elbow movements remain normal or close to normal despite the pain.
What Causes Tennis Elbow Dislocation?
Tennis Elbow Dislocation most often results from frequently repeated motions of the elbow, such as a tennis swing. It can also be caused by a sudden tightening of some of the muscles in the hand and forearm, particularly during a backhand swing.
However, it also affects many people who have never played tennis: politicians who do a lot of handshakings, people whose jobs require constant gripping, and anyone repeatedly working the forearm muscles.
How is Tennis Elbow Dislocation Is Diagnosed and Treated?
Tennis Elbow Dislocation is diagnosed from the site of the tenderness and pain, and by establishing ‘a history of overuse or excessive pulling of forearm muscles where they join at the outside of the elbow.
It is usually treated by resting the affected elbow and avoiding the type of movement that brought on the problem. This may take a few days to several weeks. Special splints may be used to protect and rest the elbow. Deep friction massage or ultrasound treatment by a physiotherapist may also prove helpful.
Medication may be used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as aspirin) is usually tried first. In severe cases, a corticosteroid drug may be injected to relieve the inflammation.
Acupuncture is also sometimes helpful. Once the pain has eased, the elbow must be exercised again slowly. Special exercises that stretch and strengthen the affected muscles may be prescribed. You may need to see a physio- or occupational therapist to learn the correct movements.
Modification of certain daily activities may be necessary, but there is usually no need for major changes, and surgery is rarely required. However, the condition is sometimes resistant to all treatment, including surgery.
What Can I Do Myself, To Avoid Tennis Elbow Dislocation?
Try to identify the type of repetitive activities that brought on the problem. Stop performing them and see whether the pain disappears within a few days. If you are a tennis player, correct faulty strokes, by seeking professional coaching if necessary.
Applying an ice pack to the tender area may be helpful at first, but after 48 hours heat is usually more effective. This can be applied with a hot water bottle, a heating pad or an infrared lamp.
When should I see my doctor?
If pain persists despite resting the elbow and applying heat or cold to the affected area, you should consult your doctor.
What will the doctor do?
If you play tennis regularly or engage in other activities that might cause the problem, your doctor will ask you to demonstrate how you perform these motions.
An incorrect tennis swing or a racquet that is too heavy or badly balanced may be the root of the problem, or it may be a piece of equipment you operate at work. A physical examination will be performed to provide additional information.
The doctor will identify the most painful area by touching and moving the elbow. X-rays are sometimes carried out to ensure that no other conditions, such as arthritis, are contributing to the problem.
Surgery may be necessary in cases which do not respond to medical treatment. This involves dividing the common extensor tendons where they begin at the elbow.
What Can I Do To Avoid Tennis Elbow Dislocation?
Try to identify the activity that caused the problem in the first place and then adjust your technique. Relaxing your grip might prove helpful.
Consult a sports medicine expert or tennis coach to see if a faulty swing or the wrong equipment is causing the problem.
Ask your doctor’s advice about wearing an athletic band on your forearm.
Is Tennis Elbow Dislocation Dangerous?
Tennis Elbow Dislocation is not dangerous but could become a problem if the elbow is not rested sufficiently and if the activities that caused it are not modified. The condition often appears suddenly, and most cases ease within a matter of days or weeks. If treated correctly, there is rarely any lasting damage.