The condition of tendonitis should be treated early in order to prevent additional damage. Early treatment will avoid more complex solutions such as surgical repair, and the patient will be able to quickly regain their flexibility and strength. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler provide tendonitis treatments to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding locations.
First Line of Treatment
The surgeon may first advise the patient to use ice packs over the painful area 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times a day. Ice should also be applied immediately after any activity that aggravates the pain. Ibuprofen, aspirin, or another anti-inflammatory drug may be prescribed for a few weeks to provide relief from pain and swelling.
The patient will be required to give rest to the affected area for a few days to a few weeks to enable the body to repair itself. For instance, a patient with a golfer’s elbow will typically need to rest the painful elbow for at least four weeks. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the tendonitis has occurred due to an infection.
Depending on the severity and location of tendonitis, the patient may require temporary bracing, splinting, or a sling. In any case, they will be advised to regularly and gently move the joint to keep it flexible and avoid a frozen joint. This is especially important for shoulder tendonitis.
Treatment for Serious Tendonitis
For more serious conditions of non-infectious tendonitis, the surgeon may inject a local anesthetic or a corticosteroid drug into the affected tendon. They may also refer the patient to a physical therapist for more focused, localized treatments. These may include friction massage, water therapy or deep heat treatments involving ultrasound to increase joint mobility.
The treatment provider will also help the patient through a rehabilitation program that will enable them to regain function, motion, and strength. The length of the program will vary according to the severity and type of tendonitis. For instance, tennis elbow and Achilles tendonitis may require several months of treatment.
Surgical repair may be required only in rare cases of tendonitis. If the patient’s condition does not improve or fails to respond to other types of treatment, or when significant tendon damage has occurred that is unlikely to improve with less invasive treatments, the treatment provider may recommend surgery.
Hot and Cold Therapy
In less serious cases of tendonitis, the treatment provider may recommend hot and cold therapy as a part of the treatment regimen. A cold compress can help mitigate the initial pain and swelling. Cold therapy is typically most useful when it is applied within the first 48 hours after injury or overuse, or when the swelling just begins to appear.
After the first 48 hours, or for cases of long term or chronic pain, dry or moist heat therapy, such as a warm bath, may be more effective than cold compresses. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and other communities in the region for tendonitis treatments.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9394