Tennis Elbow

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is an injury to the tendons attaching the forearm muscles to the outer part of the elbow. This injury comes from repetitive stress — in other words, a simple physical activity repeated over and over again, such as:

  • using a manual screwdriver
  • painting
  • raking
  • and, yes, playing tennis

How we care for tennis elbow

Most tennis elbow injuries are initially treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen. NSAIDs should not be used for an extended period of time because they may cause internal bleeding in the stomach. About 10 percent of cases of tennis elbow are bad enough to require surgery, which has usually involved trimming or detaching/re-attaching the inflamed tendon. Boston Children's Hospital is one of a few centers in the world that uses platelet-rich plasma to help the tendons heal themselves. Furthermore, since tennis elbow is a repetitive stress injury, our doctors can help your child carry on with their activities in a way that won't tire or hurt their elbow.