Extra-corporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT) for Tennis Elbow

ESWT for tennis elbowShock wave treatment (ESWT) is a non-invasive procedure which uses high energy sound-waves to stimulate tissue healing. It also reduces pain by desensitizing nerve endings in the affected area. It can be used to treat chronic tendon problems around the elbow, including tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. It can also be used to treat calcific tendonitis in the shoulder.  No medication or anaesthetic is necessary, so the procedure can be carried out in the outpatient clinic at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.

The sound waves are generated by compressed air, and are focused onto the injured tendon via a special handpiece. Most people notice an almost immediate reduction in pain after the treatment, but it can take several months to obtain maximum benefit.

A course of shock wave treatment at Spire Portsmouth Hospital usually consists of three sessions over three weeks, each lasting about 15 minutes.

When shock wave treatment is used to treat tennis elbow (or golfer’s elbow), it is important to rest the arm for 6 weeks afterwards to allow the tendon to heal. You can still use your arm, but should avoid anything heavy or repetitive.  After that a return to heavier activities and particularly sports should be done gradually after discussion with your surgeon or physiotherapist.

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