Tennis Elbow




Review Sections

Tennis Elbow Icon    Tennis Elbow

Similar to plantar fasciitis, lateral epicondylitis (LE) may be a misnomer. The condition is usually the result of degenerative changes rather than an inflammatory process. The patient often presents with tenderness at the lateral epicondyle and pain on resisted wrist extension and grasping tasks. Usually the dominant arm is affected and is commonly found in persons involve in racquet sports (1).

(1) Wilson JJ, Best TM. Common overuse tendon problems: A review and recommendations for treatment. Am Fam Physician 2005; 72(5):811-818.

Clinical Reviews

Tennis Elbow: Prevention

Few studies have examined risk factors and prevention strategies for lateral epicondylitis (LE).

Tennis Elbow: Diagnosis

Lateral epicondylitis (LE) is a condition that is relatively easy to diagnose based on patient history, observation and physical examination. Few studies have been performed to test the sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic protocols for LE. The reader should keep in mind the strength of recommendation ratings are based on a very limited number of studies. Similar to plantar fasciitis, it should be noted the diagnostic term lateral epicondylitis is probably an error in terminology as the condition does not appear to be inflammatory in nature. It is usually degenerative, often resulting in thickening of the common extensor origin.

Tennis Elbow: Therapy

One surgeon states in his review of lateral epicondylitis (LE) treatments, “non-operative therapeutic modalities…are unproven at best”. When it comes to surgery he is also concerned about a lack of surgical evidence, yet finds it proper for the surgeon to be “guided by simply our subjective viewpoint”. This paper asks in its title “Is there any science out there?” and that is the heart of the problem when it comes to LE treatment. Good quality randomized controlled trials (RCT) are rare. As with the surgeon, the non-surgical physician must judge what is an acceptable intervention based on “best judgment” using limited scientific evidence.

Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) Information

MeSH Term: Tennis Elbow

Scope Note: A condition characterized by pain in or near the lateral humeral epicondyle or in the forearm extensor muscle mass as a result of unusual strain. It occurs due repetitive stresses on the elbow from activities such as tennis playing.

MeSH Synonyms:
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Elbow, Tennis
  • Elbows, Tennis
  • Tennis Elbows
  • Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Epicondylitides, Lateral
  • Epicondylitis, Lateral
  • Lateral Epicondylitides
  • Epicondylitis, Lateral Humeral
  • Epicondylitides, Lateral Humeral
  • Humeral Epicondylitides, Lateral
  • Humeral Epicondylitis, Lateral
  • Lateral Humeral Epicondylitides
  • Lateral Humeral Epicondylitis
Applicable MeSH Subheadings:
  • analysis
  • anatomy and histology
  • blood
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • chemically induced
  • classification
  • complications
  • diagnosis
  • diagnostic imaging
  • drug therapy
  • economics
  • epidemiology
  • ethnology
  • etiology
  • genetics
  • history
  • immunology
  • metabolism
  • microbiology
  • mortality
  • organization and administration
  • pathology
  • physiology
  • physiopathology
  • prevention and control
  • psychology
  • radiotherapy
  • rehabilitation
  • statistics and numerical data
  • surgery
  • therapy
  • urine
  • veterinary

Informative Links

Arrow Tennis Elbow Information

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MedlinePlus: Elbow Injuries and Disorders

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Current Clinical Trials Relating to  Tennis Elbow Provides patients, family members, and members of the public easy and free access to information on clinical studies for a wide range of diseases and conditions.


Finnish Tennis Elbow Trial Pilot Study

(Status: Active, not recruiting)


Tennis Elbow Trial

(Status: Completed)


VIBration Training in EpicondylitiS

(Status: Unknown status)


Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in Chronic Epicondylitis

(Status: Active, not recruiting)

99 Clinical Trials Returned