LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Does your job require you to perform a repetitive motion that causes you to bend and straighten you arm or lift large objects like boxes or crates?
In this month's Prescription Arkansas report, we learn that you don't have to play tennis to get tennis elbow.
Wes Lacewell is a seasoned tennis player - but he never envisioned himself getting tennis elbow. Especially the way he got it and certainly not in both elbows.
"No, that's the ironic part. I got it throwing my kids around in the pool, and tennis exacerbated the problem later."
He tried over the counter remedies and was in pain for eight or nine months before he came to see Dr. Adam Smitherman at OrthoArkansas.
"Early on, if it is relatively new onset of tennis elbow there are some easy things that we can do," says Dr. Smitherman. "Things like anti-inflammatory medicines. Some special stretches that physical therapists can teach you. There are some braces that people have used in the past to treat tennis elbow."
But the pain persisted and Lacewell was missing his tennis, so he asked Dr. Smitherman about other options. Those options included an open or an arthroscopic surgery.
"Or something that we have been doing for the past several years which is a needle release of the tendon," says Dr. Smitherman. "For the needle release we put the needle right here at the tip of this bone right here. That's where those tendons begin. First we apply some local anesthetics so there is no pain involved after that initial needle stick. And then we use the tip of the needle to release the tendon from this bone right here."
Dr. Smitherman says it's an outpatient surgery. You can drive yourself home after the surgery and even go to work that day.
Lacewell says everything is back to normal and he's even winning tennis tournaments again.
Dr. Smitherman says he tells his patients if at all possible when picking something up from the ground, instead of having your palms down, try to pick it up with your palms up, because it takes that set of tendons out of the equation.