Repetitive, forceful movements of the arm back and forth can cause painful tears in the elbow tendons. In layman terms, this problem is referred to as ‘tennis elbow’, because racquet sports such as tennis are known to frequently cause this medical issue.

Other repetitive actions involving the use of the same tendon, such as turning heavy or tight objects can also cause tennis elbow. While the outer end of the elbow is usually affected worst, the inner and medial parts of the elbow can also get damaged from time to time.Tennis elbow can be treated surgically with a simple procedure, which does not even require the patient to stay in the hospital overnight.

The procedure begins by administering sedative and local anesthesia to prevent pain. Then, the surgeon makes an incision, scrapes away the damaged part of the tendon, repairs the tendon either by attaching it to other tendons, or by using a suture anchor, and finally closes the incision with stitches. At times an arthroscope is also used for this surgery. Patients often remain awake while the procedure is going on, but feel no pain, owing to the local anesthesia.

Surgery, however, should be the last resort for treating tennis elbow. Before opting for surgery, one must try to solve the problem by giving sufficient rest to the arm, changing sports equipment, visiting a physiotherapist, or taking painkillers. Some common side effects of the surgery are — loss of strength in the forearm, decreased elbow movement, injury to nerves and blood vessels, and scarring.

Medical attention is required before and after the surgery, in order to facilitate quick healing.