Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 4/17/2019

Tennis elbow is a condition that causes elbow pain due to inflammation of the tendon at the outer portion of the elbow. The medical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis.

Associated symptoms of tennis elbow can include dull pain in the outer elbow, tenderness, stiffness, and weakness. The range of motion of the elbow joint is normally not restricted. Swelling is also not typically present.

Causes of tennis elbow

The cause of the inflammation is a strain injury to the tendon at the outer portion of the elbow. While this can occur during a backhand tennis shot, it can also occur from many other repetitive activities that can strain the elbow, and people develop most cases from other types of activity.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/17/2019

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