Ask the Sports Doc: Elbows and knees

Published 7:56 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2010

By Manish Patel

Q: What is tennis elbow and how did I get it even though I don’t play tennis?

Dr. Patel writes: Tennis elbow is the name given to what is defined as Lateral Epicondylitis. It occurs after someone has performed any activity involving repetitive motion of moving the wrist up and down (for example, raking the yard, painting, tennis). The repetitive motion causes inflammation of the tendons that allow you to move your wrist up and down.

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If left untreated, it can lead to constant pain and tenderness on the outside portion of the elbow. Treatment can be as simple as physical therapy, if advanced enough; some may require a one-time cortisone injection to decrease inflammation.

Q: After playing soccer this past weekend, my knee has started to swell and occasionally it pops and locks up. What should I do?

Dr. Patel writes: Swelling in the knee is not a good sign. Your knee typically should have no more than 5 to 10 ml of joint fluid. A swollen knee can have as much as 100-200 ml of fluid. A swollen knee is a “crying knee”.

The locking sensation you have could be from a loose body in the knee that is catching. More commonly, it can be a sign of a cartilage tear called the meniscus. A meniscus tear can be confirmed by a good clinical exam as well as an MRI.

If you have tear in your cartilage, it is better to get it addressed sooner than later, as meniscus tears may not heal on their own.