Tennis elbow or arthritis?

ouchpotato
ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
edited 20. Dec 2016, 14:51 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello everyone

I have widespread OA, and at my rheumatologist appt 3 years ago I was also dx with tennis elbow. Apart from the steroid injections giving me a break, I have suffered from it bilaterally for more than 3 years.

The steroid injections no longer really work.

I am in tears every day with the pain. It's totally disabling - I can't lift anything, even an empty cup. Nothing touches it pain-relief wise - I take cocodamol 30/500 for the OA, and amitriptyline for neuropathy in my leg, but neither makes any difference to this. I can't take NSAIDs, emulgel doesn't work, nor does heat or ice. Heat lotion only masks the pain while it stings, once that wears off the pain is back. I have tried the straps, support bandages, wrist splints (to limit movement) and nothing helps.

I'm not even convinced it is tennis elbow - I don't do any of the usual things to cause it, and it normally only affects the dominant arm - mine affects both but more my left arm (I am right handed). I haven't had any imaging done on it as my GP wouldn't refer me back to the hospital. I can't straighten either arm, only to a 45 degree angle, and it feels like I have broken glass in the joint.

So...anyone else with tennis elbow/elbow arthritis?

Comments

  • Kerrsa
    Kerrsa Member Posts: 233
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sounds more like arthritis to me. I've had golfers elbow caused from playing tennis, and it went away after some osteo sessions.


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  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's what I'm thinking. It's supposed to be a self limiting condition, but 3+ years and it's worse than ever. I don't play tennis (or golf!), I rarely do any ironing, I don't do any repetitive work...I just went to pick up the phone and it fell through my fingers because the pain was so severe.

    My GP never sent me for physio - he went straight for the kill with the steroid jabs, but I do the exercises I have found online but it is so incredibly painful.

    I am in the process of changing surgeries, and I am hoping my new one will send me back for more tests etc.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My elbows twinge but no more than that. I know that steroids can be temperamental as to whether they work or not but the fact that this trouble is ongoing shows that something is amiss.

    I think it may be time for more tests and a referral to physio, you need expert guidance methinks. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks DD, I think so too. I am hoping the new GP will almost start from scratch, send me back to the rheumy, new blood tests etc. After dealing with OA for a few years I have a high pain threshold but this pain is on a whole other level - I have only cried a handful of times with the OA in the spine, but this is making me cry on a daily basis.
  • Kerrsa
    Kerrsa Member Posts: 233
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hope you get the help you need. My osteo was amazing, very painful for 10 days but then got better quite quickly. Never had problems again.


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  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had something similar which started in one elbow and was originally diagnosed by a locum as golfer's elbow and I had a steroid injection which didn't help much. It went to my other elbow and got worse especially at night and Ifoung it increasingly hard to sleep. I saw my GP had bloods done, repeated and I was then referred to rheumatology. He thought it might be polymylegia rheumatica but I didn't have the usual symptoms. Rheumy cons is also puzzled but put me on oral steroids which made a real difference. I see her again in Jan but she says she doesn't think it's either PR or RA but an undiagnosed imflammatory condition. Might be worth you either going back to your GP or seeing another one for a second opinion.
    Good luck.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich