Patient Education

To help you understand and navigate through your orthopedic health decisions, we have created a patient education section. Please select from one of the categories below to learn more about your condition or procedure.
Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain on the inner side of the elbow where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump (medial epicondyle). It is a form of tendinitis caused by overuse or repetitive stress on the forearm muscles and tendons.

Common Symptoms

The main symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow, sometimes radiating down the forearm
  • Stiffness in the elbow
  • Weakness in the hands and wrists
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers, usually the ring and little fingers

Cause & Anatomy

Golfer’s elbow is caused by damage or tiny tears in the tendons that control the wrist and fingers due to excess or repeated stress, especially from forceful wrist and finger motions. Activities that can lead to golfer’s elbow include:

  • Golf (repetitive wrist motions during swing)
  • Racket sports like tennis (improper technique, heavy/small racket)
  • Throwing sports like baseball, softball (improper pitching technique)
  • Weight training (improper lifting technique)
  • Occupations involving repetitive forceful gripping/twisting (construction, plumbing, etc.)

Golfer’s elbow involves the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the medial epicondyle (bony bump on the inner side of the elbow). These tendons allow you to grip, rotate your arm, and flex your wrist.


Diagnosis is typically made through a physical exam where the doctor checks for specific arm movements that cause pain. Imaging tests like X-rays may be done to rule out other conditions like fractures.


Prevention involves:

  • Strengthening forearm muscles through exercises
  • Stretching and warming up before activities
  • Using proper technique and equipment for sports/activities
  • Avoiding overuse and allowing adequate rest
  • Maintaining overall fitness and strength

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Rest and avoiding aggravating activities
  • Ice application
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Braces or straps to rest the muscles/tendons
  • Corticosteroid injections for inflammation


Surgery may be considered if non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief after 6-12 months. It involves removing damaged tendon portions and promoting healing.

Rehabilitation After Surgery

After surgery, rehabilitation typically involves:

  • Immobilization with a splint for a period
  • Gradual stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Eventual return to normal activities over 3-6 months


How long does it take to recover from golfer’s elbow?
Some cases improve with rest and non-surgical treatment within 3 months, but most cases may take 6-12 months.

Can I still play golf/tennis with golfer’s elbow?
It’s best to avoid aggravating activities until the pain subsides. Modifying equipment/technique may allow a gradual return.

Will a brace help golfer’s elbow?
Yes, a brace can help rest the affected tendons and muscles by providing support during activities.

What’s the difference between golfer’s and tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow affects the outer side of the elbow, while golfer’s elbow affects the inner side. The underlying cause is similar – tendon damage from overuse.

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