Skip to main content

Tennis Elbow: Definition, Causes, Epidemiology

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Tennis Elbow

Abstract

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is an overuse tendinopathy of the lateral wrist extensor muscles where they insert at the elbow. This condition occurs most commonly in adults between 30 and 50 years, with risk factors including repetitive use of the elbow, tobacco use, and other hand issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome and deQuervain’s tenosynovitis. The etiology is not clearly understood, but microvascular trauma, cutaneous nerve injury, and friction wear of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) have all been proposed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. Allander E. Prevalence, incidence, and remission rates of some common rheumatic diseases or syndromes. Scand J Rheumatol. 1974;3:145–53.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Alredson H, Ljung B-O, Thorsen K, et al. In vivo investigations of ECRB tendons with microdialysis technique-no signs of inflammation but high amounts of glutmate in tennis elbow. Acta Orthop Scand. 2000;71:475–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bales CP, Placzek JD, Malone KJ, Vaupel Z, Arnoczky SP. Microvascular supply of the lateral epicondyle and common extensor origin. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2007;16:497–503.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Balk ML, Hagberg WC, Buterbaugh GA, Imbriglia JE. Outcome of surgery for lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow): effect of worker’s compensation. Am J Orthop. 2005;34(3):122–6.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Berry N, Neumeister MW, Russell RC, Dellon AL. Epicondylectomy versus denervation for lateral humeral epicondylitis. HAND. 2011;6(2):174–8.

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Bunata Robert E, Brown DS, Capelo R. Anatomic factors related to the cause of tennis elbow. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007;89:1955–63.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Calfee RP, Patel A, Dasilva MF, Akelman E. Management of lateral epicondylitis: current concepts. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2008;16:19–29.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Carp L. Tennis elbow caused by radiohumeral bursitis. Arch Surg. 1932;24:905–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Dellon AL, Kim J, Ducic I. Painful neuroma of the posterior cutaneous nerve of the forearm after surgery for lateral humeral epicondylitis. J Hand Surg Am. 2004;29(3):387–90.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Dimberg L. The prevalence and causation of tennis elbow (lateral humeral epicondylitis) in a population of workers in an engineering industry. Ergonomics. 1987;30(3):573–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Faro F, Wolf JM. Lateral epicondylitis: review and current concepts. J Hand Surg. 2007;8:1271–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Giangarra CE, Conroy B, Jobe FW, et al. Electromyographic and cinematographic analysis of elbow function in tennis players using single-and double-handed backhand strokes. Am J Sports Med. 1993;21:394–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Grewal R, MacDermid JC, Shah P, King GJ. Functional outcome of arthroscopic extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon release in chronic lateral epicondylitis. J Hand Surg Am. 2009;34(5):849–57.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Haahr JP, Andersen JH. Physical and psychosocial risk factors for lateral epicondylitis: a population based case-referent study. Occup Environ Med. 2003;60:322–9. doi:10.1136/oem.60.5.322.

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Hatch GF III, Pink MM, Mohr KJ, et al. The effect of tennis racket grip size on forearm muscle firing patterns. Am J Sports Med. 2006;34:1977–83.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Hennig EM, Rosenbaum D, Milani TL. Transfer of tennis racket vibrations onto the human forearm. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992;24:1134–40.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Jobe FW, Ciccotti CM. Lateral and medial epicondylitis of the elbow. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1994;2:1–8.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Kelley JD, Lombardo SJ, Pink M, Perry J, Giangarra CE. Electromyographic and cinematographic analysis of elbow function in tennis players with lateral epicondylitis. Am J Sports Med. 1994;22:359–63.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Kitaie E, Itay S, Ruder A, Engel J, Modan M. An epidemiological study of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) in amateur male players. Ann Chir Main Memb Super. 1986;5:113–21.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Laban MM, Iyer R, Tamler MS. Occult periarthrosis of the shoulder: a possible progenitor of tennis elbow. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2005;84:895–8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Lanz T, Wachsmuth W. Praktische anatomie. Berlin: Springer; 1959.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Li FX, Fewtrell D, Jenkins M. String vibration dampers do not reduce racket frame vibration transfer to the forearm. J Sports Sci. 2004;22:1041–52.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Ljung B-O, Forsfren S, Frieden J. Substance P and calcitonin gene related peptide expression at the extensor carpi radialis brevis mucle origin: implications for the etiology of tennis elbow. J Orthop Res. 1999;17:554–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. McVay CB. Surgical anatomy, vol 2, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1984.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Morrey BF. The elbow and its disorders, 4th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2009.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Nirschl RP, Ashman ES. Elbow tendi-nopathy: tennis elbow. Clin Sports Med. 2003;22:813–6.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Nirschl RP, Pettrone FA. Tennis el-bow: the surgical treatment of lateral epicondylitis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1979;61:832–9.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Runge F. Zur genese und behandlung des schreibekramfes. Berl Klin Wochenschr. 1873;10:245.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Schneeberger AG, Masquelet AC. Arterial vascularization of the prioximal extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2002;46:3–12.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Shiri R, Viikari-Juntura E, Varonen H, Heliovaara M. Prevalent and determinants of lateral and medial epicondylitis: a population study. Am J Epidemiol. 2006;164(11):1065–74.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Smith RW, Papadopolous E, Mani R, Cawley MI. Abnormal microvascular responses in a lateral epicondylitis. Br J Rtheumatol. 1994;33:1166–8.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. Stroede CL, Noble L, Walker HS. The effect of tennis racket string vibration dampers on racket handle vibrations and discomfort following impacts. J Sports Sci. 1999;17:379–85.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Titchener AG, Fakis A, Tambe AA, Smith C, Hubbard RB, Clark DI. Risk factors in lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow): a case-control study. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2013;38:159–64.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Verhaar JA. Tennis elbow: anatomical, epidemiological and therapeutic aspects. Int Orthop. 1994;18:263–7.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Walker-Bone K, Palmer KT, Reading I, Coggon D, Cooper C. Occupation and epicondylitis: a population-based study. Rheumatology. 2012;51:305–10.

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Wolf JM, Mountcastle S, Burks R, Sturdivant RX, Owens BD. Epidemiology of lateral and medial epicondylitis in a military population. Mil Med. 2010;175(5):336–9 (4).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jennifer Moriatis Wolf MD .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Winston, J., Wolf, J. (2015). Tennis Elbow: Definition, Causes, Epidemiology. In: Wolf, J. (eds) Tennis Elbow. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7534-8_1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7534-8_1

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4899-7533-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4899-7534-8

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics