Approximately 95% of patients with tennis elbow can be treated without surgery. Surgery to release the damaged tendon may be needed in a small percentage of patients. A significant trial of conservative treatment should be attempted prior to surgery. Surgery is usually successful, but rarely needed.
There are several possible surgical treatments that have been successful. These include removing a portion of the damaged tendon or releasing the attachment of the affected tendon. A repair of the healthy portion of tendon is carried out as well.
An incision is made over the outside of the joint. The area of damaged tendon is identified, and this portion of tendon is removed.
The underlying bone is exposed and blood flow to this region is stimulated. The remaining tendon is repaired to the bone by using sutures anchored into the bone. The incision is then closed, and the patient placed in a splint.