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Conditions & Treatments

Here at Snibbe Orthopedics, we are advocates for educating our patients about your condition and the various treatment options available to you. Please click on the conditions below for detailed explanations and the courses of treatment for each.

This information can assist in diagnosing your orthopedic issue. However, please keep in mind that this information is intended for educational purposes only. In order to fully assess your injury, a comprehensive history and physical exam must be performed by Dr. Snibbe. We encourage you to come into our office to meet with Dr. Snibbe and discuss all available treatment options together.

Dr. Snibbe and his team want you to have a thorough understanding of the surgery you are having as well as the steps you will go through before, during, and after surgery. Thus, we have put together this information, which you can use at any point to ensure a smooth progression through your surgical care. You will find answers to the most commonly asked questions for each procedure, as well as a timeline for your recovery.

Open Triceps Tendon Repair

A triceps tendon repair is an open procedure done through an approximately 5 cm incision on the back of the arm directly above the elbow. First, the ruptured or torn tendon is located by the surgeon. Once located, the end of the tendon is cleared of any damaged tissue so the tendon has a fresh edge. Then the end of the tendon is reattached down to the bone with strong suture known as Fiberwire.

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Open Medial Epicondylar Release

A medial epicondylar release is an open procedure, often performed through a 3–4 cm incision on the inside of the elbow. During the procedure, the tendon that attaches to the inside of the elbow is located and evaluated for any injury or damage. It is common to cut this tendon in order to remove damaged and inflamed tissue. The medial epicondyle is also debrided in order to remove any scar tissue or inflammatory tissue that has developed as a result of long term golfer’s elbow. Once this debridement is complete, the tendon is secured back to the medial epicondyle (on the inside of the elbow) with strong suture. This provides a clean, non-inflamed edge now connected to bone. This provides the tendon with more stability and less chance for reoccurrence when the patient resumes his/her activities. Following the procedure, the patient is placed in a soft cast to immobilize the wrist and not allow for wrist flexion. This is necessary initially so that there is not any force applied by the wrist on the repair.

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Open Lateral Epicondylar Release

A lateral epicondylar release is an open procedure often performed through 3–4 cm incision on the outside of the elbow. During the procedure, the common extensor tendon is located and evaluated for any injury or damage. The tendon is split in order to remove damaged and inflamed tissue. The lateral epicondyle (bone) is also debrided in order to remove any scar tissue or inflammatory tissue that has developed as a result of long-term tennis elbow. Once this debridement is complete, the common extensor tendon is secured back to the lateral epicondyle (on the outside of the elbow) with strong suture. This provides a clean, non-inflamed edge now connected to bone, providing the tendon with more stability and less chance for recurrence when the patient resumes normal activities. Following the procedure, the patient is placed in a soft cast to immobilize the wrist and prevent any force applied by the wrist on the repair.

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Triceps Tendon Tear

The triceps tendon attaches the triceps muscles on the back of the arm to the elbow. Often a tear or rupture of this tendon occurs as a result of a fall on an outstretched hand or when sudden force is exerted on the elbow. Patients commonly report a pop or snapping sound at the time of injury. Depending on the extent of tearing, surgery to repair the tendon may be necessary.

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Medial Epicondylitis

Medial epicondylitis results from inflammation of the flexor tendons of the wrist. It is commonly referred to as “golfer’s elbow.” Patients will have pain with lifting, twisting of the wrist, or during a golf swing. Treatment involves physical therapy, medications, injections, and sometimes surgery.

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Biceps Tendon Rupture at Elbow

A ruptured biceps tendon describes when the tendon of the biceps muscle is pulled from its attachment at the shoulder or the elbow. This can happen as a result of lifting a heavy item or a jerking motion while your arm is flexed. Most commonly a patient will notice a deformity of the biceps muscle where there is an abnormal bulge in the arm.

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