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Does Golfer’s Elbow Always Require Surgery?

Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is a condition often observed in patients who have been experiencing discomfort for an extended period, typically a few months, before seeking medical advice. This delay in treatment can influence the recovery process, which is neither quick nor straightforward.

Early Stages: Seeking Help

Patients usually arrive for consultation after the pain has been persistent for some time. At this initial stage, a thorough evaluation is conducted to understand the severity and impact of the condition.

The Treatment Journey

The recovery from golfer’s elbow is a gradual process. Treatment often includes:

Physical Therapy: A cornerstone in the management of this condition, physical therapy helps in alleviating pain and improving joint function.

Cortisone Injections: These may be recommended to reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief.

Oral Anti-Inflammatory Medication: To help manage pain and reduce inflammation.

Additional Modalities: Techniques like iontophoresis, ultrasound, and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy are also considered, depending on individual cases.

The Importance of Patience and Persistence

Recovery from golfer’s elbow is not an overnight process. It typically takes a couple of months of consistent, conservative treatment before significant improvement is noticed. Returning to normal activities and routine without discomfort is the ultimate goal of this treatment journey.

Surgical Intervention: A Last Resort

Surgery is considered only for a small percentage of patients who do not respond to conservative treatment methods. This option is generally explored around 12 months or longer after the initial onset of symptoms.

Advice for Patients

For those struggling with golfer’s elbow, the key is patience. Consistent adherence to therapeutic exercises and treatment modalities is crucial. Most cases tend to resolve with time and diligent care, making surgery a less frequent necessity.

In summary, golfer’s elbow, while a persistent and sometimes slow-to-resolve condition, can be effectively managed with a combination of professional medical advice and patient dedication to the prescribed treatment plan.

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