Arthroscopic Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Excision


Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is a common affliction of the elbow and is primarily the result of microscopic tearing with formation of reparative tissue in the origin of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle. In this presentation, Dr. Baker performs an arthroscopic ECRB excision in a 35-year-old man with a 3-year history of pain on extension of his right elbow. The arthroscopy is performed through two small incisions with visualization of the site of pathology from a medial portal and arthroscopic débridement and resection through a lateral portal. The advantages of an arthroscopic versus an open technique include the ability to débride the anatomic origin of the ECRB without dividing the common extensor aponeurosis or affecting the extensor carpi radialis longus, the ability to inspect the joint and treat intra-articular pathology, a shortened period of immobilization and rehabilitation, and outcomes that are comparable or better to those of open surgery. Patients who are recalcitrant to conservative therapy (including corticosteroid injections) are candidates for this surgery.

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