Also known as Golfer’s Elbow, medial epicondylitis is similar in nature to lateral epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow – though one affects the outer (lateral) portion of the elbow and the other affects the inner (medial) portion.
Medial epicondylitis affects the inner portion of the elbow and is caused by the excessive and repeated force used to bend the wrist toward the palm. This occurs in such activity as pitching a baseball, swinging a golf club or serving a tennis ball. The force causes damage to the tendons responsible for this bending action and causes a pain that generates from the elbow to the wrist, on the palmar side of the forearm.
While the condition may also result from a number of other activities such as carrying a heavy suitcase, chopping wood with an ax, throwing a javelin and frequently using other hand tools, it has become popularized by golfers and is most often referred to as Golfer’s Elbow.
Those at Risk
Those adults subjecting repeated force on the wrist are likely to experience medial epicondylitis. It is often diagnosed in those actively involved in a sporting activity or manual labor – generally between the ages of 20 and 40.
Diagnosis of medial epicondylitis usually consists of patient history and a physical examination of the arm and wrist in various positions of resistance.
Unless chronic and severe, most cases are treated with conservative nonsurgical treatment plans that may include: cold compression, anti-inflammatory medications, and strengthening exercises.
When the condition is nonresponsive to conservative treatment, surgery is indicated to repair the ligament.