What is medial epicondyle release surgery?

Medial epicondyle release surgery is what doctors often use to treat golfer's elbow. This condition can be very painful. The goal of the surgery is to remove the damaged tendon that's causing pain. The doctor then reattaches a healthy tendon in its place.

Doctors can usually treat golfer's elbow with non-surgical options, such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone shots and rest. If the pain doesn't go away with these treatments, then your doctor may recommend surgery.

What to expect from medial epicondyle release surgery

There are several approaches to medial epicondyle release surgery. These include open and arthroscopic surgeries, which your doctor does through small cuts in your skin. Most surgeons do this operation on an outpatient basis. You can begin recovering at home the same day that you have the procedure.

Your doctor makes a small incision on the side of your elbow. They move the soft tissues to get a better view of the tendon. The doctor cuts this tendon to remove the damaged and inflamed portion. The surgeon also removes any scar tissue or other debris that can cause inflammation. They secure the healthy tendon back into place using stitches.

The surgeon closes the incision with stitches and applies a bandage. They'll put your arm in a soft cast to keep it still. This gives the tendon a chance to heal.

You need to limit your movements during the first week of recovery. At a follow-up appointment in about 10 days, the doctor can remove the stitches and check your progress. You may get a referral to physical therapy. You can work on strengthening your elbow and learn to return to normal activities. You need therapy for two to three months. It can take up to six months to get back to sports and other high-level activities.

Common conditions requiring medial epicondyle release surgery

Golfer's elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is the condition that most commonly needs medial epicondyle release surgery. This condition happens when the tendons on the front of your elbow get inflamed. This often happens due to misuse or overuse, such as in sports like golf. Similar damage from injury or accident can benefit from medial epicondyle release surgery.

Find an orthopedic physician nearby

Mercy Health locations that can treat you