Left Elbow Issue

A_BA_B Posts: 4,417 Mega Baller
After a few years of a weak left arm and perpetual golfers elbow, I finally got a MRI after a lump was discovered just off the interior elbow joint. Results were:

High-grade tear of common flexor tendon at medial epicondyle, with tendinosis.
Moderate tendinosis of the common externsor tendon at the lateral eplicondyle with intermediate to hihg-grade insertional tearing.
Likely partial thickness tearing of ulnar attachment of the radial collateral ligament. Mild distal biceps tendonsis.

I don't know what all that means, but in skier terms, it may be why my down arm on my offside lean has sucked for the last few seasons, and it messes up my golf swing too.

Anyone have this before? Surgery? PT? Recovery?

Waiting on appointment with Ortho to go over and discuss risks if I wait until end of summer and have another sucky ski season losing all my angle out of 1 ball.



  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 2,174 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    All injuries are different, but I've had my share also with left elbow. Started with a radial head fracture in 1990 with a hairline fracture right at the head of the radius. It progressively got worse and had it scoped in 2001 and got a 90 % improvement, but still needed lots of PT and slowly continued to get worse. Somewhere around 10 years ago it got so bad that I was worried about not being able to ski anymore. I don't remember why, but I switched to a backward grip and the severe pain during skiing immediately dropped to a minor annoyance. Its amazing how the orientation of the joint makes a difference under stress. But..... it continued to degrade and had a second surgery in 2019 and probably got an 80% improvement. The surgeries were "debriedment" which is basically running a medical grade dremmel tool and smoothing out all the rough surfaces in the joint. Both surgeries were not fun, but nowhere near as bad a recovery as rotator cuff. Stretching and movement started within a few days of the surgeries.

    The good news is elbow (and almost all other) surgeries have improved immensely. In 2001, there was basically 1 Doc in the Dallas area capable of that type of orthoscopic elbow operation. In 2019 there was a plethora of qualified docs, as well as alternate treatments like RPK and some stem cell stuff, but low rates of success.

    Exercise can make a huge difference. Wrist curls in 4 directions and wrist rotation using a heavy hammer or other weight on the end of a bar. It won't do much for torn tendons, but strengthening all the supporting muscles and keeping the blood flowing is important.

    Just for grins, try switching your grip. No idea if it will help like it did mine, but nothing to loose.

    You don't need me to tell you that having a few less pounds dragging behind the boat will reduce elbow stress.

    Don't be afraid to get 2 or 3 opinions from different docs.

    Good luck.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 806 Mega Baller
    +1 for trying grip switch. It will not fix your injuries, but may make them feel much better - which means you are not stressing them as much while finding a good doc to fix things.
  • brettmainerbrettmainer Posts: 393 Crazy Baller
    Try a larger diameter handle. Stress shifts from elbow to forearm muscles.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,783 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    This could be one of those situations where the Goode Power Vest comes in handy.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,417 Mega Baller
    Thanks for the comments. I talked with my skiing buddy about switching back my grip to how I started. He too started RH on top RFF and switched to the “correct” method.

    Will see what my local ortho says and can always go to Cleveland Clinic if needed.

    I need to understand risk of another sucky ski season to get fixed at end of summer or just bite the bullet and get it done now. That just means I won’t be able to defend golf championship in my golf league and will leave my partner scrambling for a replacement.
  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,518 Mega Baller
    Clincher gloves helped me
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
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