Lateral Epicondylitis Part I

Lateral Epicondylitis Part I

Lateral epicondylitis is characterized as a repetitive stress injury to the common insertion of the wrist extensors (particularly the extensor carpi radialis brevis) on the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. It is the most common over use injury of the elbow. Risk factors include heavy professions that require repetitive, sustained or forceful wrist movements. These jobs may or may not include, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, heavy desk fork etc. # main rick factors were identified in a systematic review: Handling tools greater than 1 kg, lifting 20 kg greater than 10 times a day, repetitive movements for more than 2 hours.


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Lateral epicondylitis typically has no loss of ROM active or passive unless pain is extreme at EROM

Highly associated with decrease wrist extension, digit extension (specifically 3rd digit), supination and decreased grip strength. Pain is typically noted with these action and during MMT.

Special Test:
Cozen’s sign: Elbow at 90, wrist in pronation and radial deviation. Resistive wrist extension performed. + sign pain over lateral epicondyle.
Mill’s sign: Pain at elbow with Passive wrist flexion and pronation while the elbow is extended.
Maudley’s test: Resistance of 3rd digit of hand. + sign is pain at the lateral epicondyle.


Photo credit: StuSeeger via / CC BY