So your appointment is set and you are ready to go under the knife.
I bet you are feeling a little nervous and unsure of whether this will finally put an end to your pain and misery.
Am I right?
Well before the big day arrives, there are 3 crucial and critical factors when it comes to surgery for tennis elbow that you really need to know about
They can make a huge difference as to whether your surgery is a success or failure!
But before we get to them, let me tell you exactly how the operation on your elbow will be performed.
In most instances, your surgeon will perform an outpatient, arthroscopic procedure to help address not only your pain but repair any/all damage that has occurred.
The operation normally takes place in a surgical setting lasting around one hour.
The surgeon will make a small incision on the inside of your arm as well as the outside of your arm.
He/she will then look from the inside of your elbow with the arthroscope, underneath your bicep muscle over to the outside of your elbow.
The surgeon will then make a small incision on the lateral side of your elbow to open it up.
He/she will then use specialized tools to remove parts of muscle/tendon tissue that has been torn or damaged which has been causing you pain.
After your outpatient surgery is complete, you are normally discharged the same day.
Your elbow will be wrapped with a soft dressing.
You should be able to still extend and bend your arm where tolerable.
It is recommended to avoid any/all strenuous activity for at least 4 weeks.
It is not uncommon for individuals who undergo this type of surgery to start to experience pain relief within 5 or 6 days of their operation.
Want more info on this type of operation?
Here is more great information that will give you another perspective and insight.
Tennis Elbow Release Surgery
This is a different type of procedure than the one above.
Normally takes place in an operating theatre.
Usually lasts about 20 minutes.
You are put under a general anesthetic and sometimes only a local is required.
A tight compression band or strap is placed high up around your affected arm.
During your operation, it may be tightened or inflated to help restrict blood flow, which in turns helps the surgeon see the structures of your elbow better and make the surgery easier to perform.
Your surgeon will make a 3 to 4 centimeter incision on the lateral side of your elbow.
He/she will identify the damaged and/or torn muscle, tendon, bone tissues and remove them.
If there is a complete tear of your extensor tendon away from your bone, the surgeon will reattach the tendon so you can bend and extend your arm again without any pain.
Depending on the amount of tissue repaired or removed, you may end up having to wear a plaster cast instead of a soft dressing – post operation of course.
You are normally advised to take pain medication as soon as you get home.
Especially over the first 24 – 48 hours.
You will most likely return to see your surgeon within a week of your surgery to have your bandage changed and your elbow evaluated for any problems or concerns.
If all looks good, you can most likely leave your bandage off and leave your wound exposed.
Normal activities like driving your car and holding/gripping your coffee mug can be performed after a week or 10 days.
As to how soon you can return to work, hobbies and sporting activities really depends on what it is.
Anything that requires steady and intensive manual labor is a no go.
For that you are looking at around a 3 month waiting window.
Even sports such as tennis, baseball, American football, golf, volleyball, cricket or any sport where you have to use force when extending your wrist – you can expect to return to these types of activities after 3 months has passed.
And when you do return to these types of movements and activities, you should really ease yourself back into it.
Want to know more about elbow injuries?
Read this post on 12 Elbow Injuries That Can Make Everyday Life A Living Hell
Because you don’t want to be back at your surgeons office anytime soon!
Here’s 3 things to consider before exploring surgery for tennis elbow.
1) Not guaranteed to work.
Despite the fact that there is about a 80% chance that your operation will be a success, there are risk factors.
First of all, your wound could become infected.
This could set you back a few months in your recovery time.
Secondly, if you’ve never had surgery before, then there is a possibility that you could have a reaction to the anesthetic.
Well if this happens, at least you are in a hospital.
2) Surgeons make mistakes.
Not everyone is perfect.
We hear almost on a daily basis horror stories about botched surgeries and nightmare surgeons who are sometimes not even surgeons at all.
Here is a fact that you probably didn’t know:
I was blown away when I read that.
Always get a second opinion, especially when researching whether you want to go under the knife or not.
Be sure to double-check your surgeons credentials and check to see whether he/she is being sued by anyone for malpractice or medical negligence.
3) Long recovery period.
You need to be realistic when it comes to your recovery time.
Are you able to take 3 to 4 months off work or time away from the things you love to do?
Do you have someone who can help you out even with the most basic daily tasks? (i.e.: taking out the garbage, looking after your kids, picking up groceries, etc)
These are all things you really need to consider before making the decision to have your elbow operated on.
Have you considered a home treatment program for tennis elbow?
I would not be surprised if you haven’t!
For the simple reason, Doctors are quick to prescribe pain medication or more invasive procedures such as surgery when it comes to injuries to the elbow.
What if I told you there is a proven, safe, Doctor endorsed, in home program that treats tennis elbow …
And the best part
Is that you only need to implement and follow 5 simple steps every other day in order to get fast and immediate pain relief.
I bet it does!
Click on the button below where a short video tutorial will explain everything you need to know and how to quickly get started!