Candidates for lateral/medial epicondylitis surgery have been diagnosed with lateral/medial epicondylitis that has not responded to nonsurgical treatment, typically after 6-12 months.
Patients who have cases of lateral/medial epicondylitis that can be treated nonsurgically are not candidates for lateral/medial epicondylitis surgery.
Like other surgeries, lateral/medial epicondylitis surgery requires certain general surgery protocol such as preoperative blood testing and the use of prophylactic antibiotic medications. Additionally, patients must stop smoking and using any pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs (blood thinners) one week prior to surgery. You will likely be asked to stop eating or drinking the night before the surgery.
Immediately after the surgery, your elbow will be in a splint for the first few weeks. An extended physical therapy regimen that may last up to 2-3 months will begin after surgery in order to restore movement and strengthen your elbow. Total recovery time can vary depending on the exact case and a patient’s overall health. It can take up to 4-6 months to return to high activity level sports and work activity.
As with any surgery, there are risks of complications related to blood clots, infection, injury to nerves or blood vessels, or adverse reactions to anesthesia. Complications specific to lateral/medial epicondylitis surgery include prolonged rehabilitation in comparison to nonsurgical treatment, loss of strength and flexibility, and possible revision (further) surgery.