This condition is related to overuse and is related to pathology in the tendon attaching to the prominent bone on the inner part of the elbow (medial epicondyle).
Patient complain with pain on the inner part of the elbow. There may be pain in the forearm as well. It is worse with elbow movement and with clenching the fist. This condition can sometimes be associated with tingling in the little and ring fingers in the hand together with weakness in grip strength (please see cubital tunnel syndrome).
How is the diagnosis made?
This is based on history and examination. The examination shows tenderness on the prominent bone on the inner part of the elbow. The pain may be made worse with resisted pronation (rotating the forearm to turn the palm downwards).
A scan (ultrasound or MRI) may be required to confirm the diagnosis. If there is associated tingling in the hand, nerve conduction studies may also be requested.
What is the treatment?
Treatment is also conservative, with analgesia, activity modification and physiotherapy. Steroid injection is the next option if conservative management is unsuccessful. Surgery is also possible if all else fails. The treating doctor will explain these options together with the advantages and risks of each treatment.
Surgery is performed under general anaesthetic as a day case procedure. Recovery from surgery is similar to tennis elbow, with stitches and dressing for about 2 weeks. The wound cannot get wet during this time. Initially movement will be sore and total recovery may take a couple of months.
Risks of Surgery
Surgery carries the risks of infection, bleeding, nerve injury, stiffness, failure of the procedure, recurrence of the symptoms and elbow instability.