The most frustrating thing that can happen to an athlete or an active person is getting an injury. Not only does it hinder you from training and competing, but it also prevents you from simply enjoying the sport you love.
Tennis elbow is technically inflammation or injury to the outer tendons in the elbow – the tendons that attach your forearm muscles to the “bony bump” of the elbow. A tennis elbow fracture is when there is also a break in one or more bones comprising the elbow, and the fracture occurs while playing tennis or engaging in similar arm movements.
Let’s talk about the symptoms of a tennis elbow fracture, how it’s diagnosed, and where you can go in the San Antonio area for a proper diagnosis and effective treatment.
Tennis Elbow Fracture Symptoms
If you have any of these symptoms in or around your elbow, you’ll need to check in with your orthopedic doctor to receive proper diagnosis and treatment:
- Sudden intense pain
- Inability to straighten or bend the elbow
- Numbness in the fingers, wrist, or hand
- Limited range of motion
- Visible elbow deformity
How an Elbow Fracture Is Diagnosed
There are two main factors involved in diagnosing an elbow fracture:
Your orthopedic doctor will first assess your medical history. Then, they will check your elbow and arm for cuts, tenderness, pulse, and range of motion.
An X-ray will display any underlying bone trauma to the elbow. This and possibly other scanning procedures can assist your doctor in determining the precise location and type of your elbow fracture, and they can also help to rule out other possible injuries.
Tennis Elbow Fracture Treatment
After your diagnosis, certain factors will determine the treatment that’s appropriate for you. Depending on the severity, location, and type of fracture, there are two possible treatment methods for your injury:
A cast, splint, and/or sling will be used to hold the elbow in proper placement while the bone heals. During the healing process, your doctor may recommend that you take over-the-counter pain medication, or the physician may give you a prescription for a stronger pain reliever.
You can expect frequent visits to your doctor for follow-up checkups and possibly X-rays, so they can closely monitor your progress. A splint or cast is typically worn for three to six weeks.
Once the splint or cast is finally removed for good, the elbow is likely to feel very stiff because you haven’t been moving it. Thus, your doctor will likely recommend physical therapy in order to regain the motion and flexibility in your elbow and arm.
The bone fragments in a tennis elbow fracture commonly move out of alignment, particularly when an olecranon fracture occurs. If there are a number of fragments, your elbow may need surgery in which the doctor attaches metal hardware to the bones, keeping them in place; this enables the bone fragments to heal properly and straight, rather than crooked.
Surgery is also required if the tennis elbow fracture is a complex break, displaced, or open (through the skin). Your doctor will recommend the right type of elbow surgery for you, depending on your age, pre-existing conditions, and the location and severity of the fracture.
Tennis Elbow Fracture Treatments in San Antonio, TX
Injuring your funny bone might not be all that funny – but with proper medical guidance and treatment, you’ll be well on your way to returning to your active lifestyle.
If you’ve suffered a tennis elbow fracture, an orthopedic doctor is the best medical specialist to provide you with an efficient and accurate evaluation and proper treatment. Here at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, we can provide personalized treatment to help you achieve a quick and smooth recovery from your elbow injury or tennis injury.
To schedule an appointment, call our friendly staff today at (210) 692-7400 or request an appointment now via our online form. We look forward to helping you get back on the court!