Elbow medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow)

Arms | Orthopaedics | Elbow medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow) (Disease)


Golfers elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is an inflammatory condition of the medial epicondyle of the elbow. It is in some ways similar to tennis elbow.

Two common types of epicondylitis are tennis elbow and golfers elbow. Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis, which is an overuse injury to the area of the lateral (outside) epicondyle of the elbow end of the upper arm bone (humerus). Golfers elbow (medial epicondylitis) is an overuse injury similar to tennis elbow, but in this case the damage occurs in the area of the medial (inside) epicondyle of the upper arm bone.

Causes and Risk factors

The anterior forearm contains several muscles that are involved with flexing the fingers and thumb, and flexing and pronating the wrist. The tendons of these muscle come together in a common tendinous sheath, which is inserted into the medial epicondyle of the humerus at the elbow joint. In response to minor injury, or sometimes for no obvious reason at all, this point of insertion becomes inflamed.

A person with medial epicondylitis has inflammation of the medial epicondyle. The medial epicondyle is part of the humerus bone, near the elbow. Tendons attach the muscles of the forearm to the medial epicondyle. Strenuous use of the forearm muscles can cause inflammation of the bone where the tendons attach to the medial epicondyle. Most cases of medial epicondylitis resolve over 4-6 weeks with treatment and rest.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Therapy will include a variety of exercises for muscle/tendon reconditioning, starting with stretching and gradual strengthening of the flexor-pronator muscles. Strengthening will slowly begin with isometrics and progresses to eccentric exercises helping to extend the range of motion back to where it once was. After the strengthening exercises, it is common for the patient to ice the area.


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