A healthy mind in a healthy body is truly important. Everyone needs to be in good physical and mental shape. Many people love playing sports as a means of staying in shape. While sports can be lots of fun, people can also get injured when playing. For example, many people love playing tennis. Tennis helps exercise all areas of the body. People who play tennis move their arms and legs. They also must use hand-eye coordination in order to follow the ball as it lands. Those who play this sport may find that, over time, doing so can lead to the potential for injury. One area of the body that is particularly vulnerable are the elbows. They can be highly stressed as the person grabs a racket and heads for return service.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a medical condition that has been identified as being linked to playing tennis. This condition can happen to anyone who plays tennis no matter their age. In general, those who play a lot of tennis over time may find that doing so places stress on the tendons on the outer portion of the elbow. The condition happens when the body’s tendons get swollen. The tendons that get inflamed are those that connect the muscles in the forearm to your elbow. These are the muscles that are heavily worked when you are playing tennis. As you hold the racket with great force, the tendons may become chronically inflamed (tendinitis) from the overall exertion on your arm.

Getting Help

People with this condition may find that it interferes with their ability to play tennis. They may also find that it also interferes with their ability to do other activities as well. In that case, it is best to seek help. Doctors can provide that help. A doctor will begin by examining the affected area in greater detail.  They often ask the fellowship radiologists at The Radiology Clinic to have their patients get an MRI to see inside the elbow and determine the extent of the affected area. They also want to determine what needs to be done in order to fix the area and get you back on the tennis courts as soon as possible.

Diagnostic Methods

Many varied diagnostic methods are used to examine a patient with possible tennis elbow. A doctor may order an initial x-ray in order to have a look at the overall structure of the elbows and see if any further investigation is warranted. Another source of diagnostic help is via an MRI. Magnetic Resonance Imaging can provide doctors with a great deal of information about the function of the elbow. It can also indicate how much damage may exist. Tennis elbow may be part of a larger issue with the entire hand and arm. For example, it may exist with arthritis. In that case, a doctor can use the MRI to help develop a treatment plan that can address not only tennis elbow but other conditions at the same time. This can lead to effective treatments that let people play tennis without pain again.

For more information on having a high-resolution 3T MRI, contact us at The Radiology Clinic at 301-217-0500.  Our friendly staff and fellowship trained radiologists will provide a great patient experience with expertise imaging and diagnosis to help our patients get treated appropriately and promptly.