Lateral Epicondylitis

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  • Most common cause of elbow pain
  • Overuse syndrome of the common extensor origin, predominantly affecting the extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon
  • Known as ‘tennis elbow’ despite 95% of patients not being tennis players
  • Degenerative process (tendinosis) resulting from repetitive microtrauma rather than an inflammatory process as implied by the name
  • Complete rupture of the common extensor origin is rare
  • Abnormal thickening and increased signal intensity at the common extensor origin and peritendinous edema
  • MR shows focal T2 hyperintense fluid within partial thickness undersurface tendon tears
  • Lateral epicondyle bone marrow edema may be seen
  • May be associated with injury to the radial collateral ligament
  • Although uncommon, the symptoms of radial nerve entrapment can closely mimic those in lateral epicondylitis and should be considered when there is a strong history with no associated MRI findings
  1. Sonin AH, Fitzgerald SW, Hoff FL et al. MR imaging of the posterior cruciate ligament: normal, abnormal, and associated injury patterns. Radiographics 1995; 15(3):551-61
  2. Fanelli GC, Edson CJ. Posterior cruciate ligament injuries in trauma patients: part II. Arthroscopy 1995; 11:526-529
  3. Rodriguez W Jr, Vinson EN, Helms CA, Toth AP. MRI appearance of posterior cruciate ligament tears. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2008 191;4:155-159
  4. Sonin AH, et al. Posterior cruciate ligament injury: MR imaging diagnosis and patterns of injury. Radiology 1994;190:455-458

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Tennis Elbow, Musculoskeletal (MSK), Lateral Epicondylitis,

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