Formed by the upper arm bone (humerus) and the two bones that compose the forearm (radius and
ulna), the elbow is a joint that only moves in one direction, also known as a hinge joint.
Ligaments, muscles, and tendons surround the joint and connect the bones together, as well
as provide stability during movement.
The muscles in the forearm that connect to the elbow extend down to the wrist and fingers,
and allow the arm to rotate and the wrist to flex. Damage to the tendons or muscles in the
elbow can cause pain and weakness in the joint, which often radiates down the forearm
muscles to the wrist and fingers.
Causes And Symptoms Of Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a painful overuse injury that causes
the tendons surrounding the joint to become inflamed. It is often associated with sports and
professions that require repetitive hand, wrist, or forearm movement, such as golf,
baseball, and painting.
Golfer’s elbow often develops after repeated use of the muscles in the forearm. The constant
stress on the elbow joint will often cause the tendons on the inside of the elbow to become
inflamed, and possibly even tear. Incorrectly gripping or swinging clubs can increase a
golfer’s chances of developing golfer’s elbow.
As inflammation of the tendons on the inside of the elbow joint increases, patients will
often experience pain and tenderness around the elbow and down the inside of the forearm. As
the condition progresses, the elbow will often stiffen and the hand and wrist will weaken.
This often makes tasks, such as making a fist or turning a doorknob, difficult to complete.
Symptoms often develop gradually over time, but can occur suddenly after direct force on the
elbow or wrist. Golfer’s elbow can affect patients of any age, but is most common in male
golfers between the ages of 20 and 50.
Treatment Options For Golfer’s Elbow
The majority of patients suffering from Golfer’s elbow are able to relieve or manage painful
symptoms with a combination of conservative treatment options. Dr. Haar will often recommend
one or more of the following treatments:
- Application of ice
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
- Physical therapy
- Strengthening Exercises
- Steroid injections
- Pain relievers
If painful symptoms continue or progress after 6 to 12 months of conservative treatment, Dr.
Haar may recommend minimally invasive surgery to relieve
pain symptoms and return arm strength.
Arthroscopic Surgery To Treat Golfer’s Elbow
To determine if surgery will best fit the patients needs, Dr. Haar will complete several
tests to diagnose the severity of tendon and muscle damage, including X-rays, MRIs, and
Using arthroscopic techniques (a form of minimally invasive surgery), Dr. Haar will remove
the damaged or inflamed tendons. Compared to the open technique, this allows for a quicker
recovery and an earlier return to normal activities, such as work and sports.
Learn more about elbow pain and arthroscopic elbow surgery »
Golfer’s Elbow In New York, New York
Dr. Robert D. Haar is one of New York’s most experienced
orthopaedic and sports medicine physicians, and a minimally invasive surgery specialist. Dr.
Haar provides world-class custom care to patients in the New York City area. To schedule an
appointment, contact his New York City office at (212) 876-7000.