Tennis Elbow to Wrist Fractures: How We Treat Lower Arm Injuries

Tennis Elbow

If you have an acute or overuse injury of your forearm or wrist, you’re unable to perform some of the simple daily tasks you normally take for granted, like brushing your teeth or using the computer — especially if the injury is in your dominant arm or hand.

Your forearm has two bones: the radius and the ulna. Your wrist has eight small bones. Most forearm injuries are soft-tissue injuries that don’t need surgery, unlike some wrist injuries. 

Board-certified Orthopaedic Surgeon Matthew C. Shillito, MD of San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center treats forearm and wrist injuries. Whether you’ve suffered a fall and broken a bone or you have tendonitis from overuse, Dr. Shillito, who specializes in hand and elbow pathology, offers expert diagnosis and treatment.  

Treatment of soft tissue injuries in the forearm 

Tendinitis is a common injury of the forearm. Your tendons connect your muscles to your bones. If you play tennis, you may suffer from tennis elbow; overuse has caused tiny tears in the tendon where it connects to the bone, and you experience pain on the outside of the elbow. 

Tennis elbow can affect anyone who uses repetitive movements involving the forearm, not just tennis players. House painters, carpenters, butchers, and those in other occupations that use the forearm frequently suffer from tennis elbow more often than the general population.  

Golfers typically suffer a form of tendinitis called golfer’s elbow on the inside of the elbow. It’s a completely different injury than tennis elbow. Anyone using repetitive movements involving the wrist such as flexing or twisting, as in gardening or throwing a ball, is more prone to golfer’s elbow, not just golfers. 

Tendinitis treatment 

You’ve irritated your tendon and it’s inflamed. You need to give your tendon a break. That means taking time out from the behavior that’s the culprit. Once Dr. Shillito diagnoses tendonitis, he recommends RICE therapy — rest, ice, compression, and elevation — along with pain relievers. He may prescribe a stronger pain reliever than you can get over the counter.  


Resting the arm is critical. Your doctor may decide that a brace, splint, or sling is appropriate and lets you know how long you should wear it. 


You can ice the area several times during the day; always use an ice pack or towel so your skin isn’t directly exposed to the ice. 


Dr. Shillito may recommend a compression sleeve for the forearm or part of it. He’ll let you know how many hours a day and how many weeks you should wear it. 


Your forearm is going to feel better when you rest it on a pillow when sitting or sleeping and when it’s in a sling when you’re upright. 

Exercises or physical therapy 

Depending on your injury, Dr. Shillito provides you with instructions for specific stretches and exercises or recommends physical therapy once the inflammation has calmed. The therapy helps you regain range of motion and full function. 

Wrist fractures 

Perhaps you’ve fallen and broken your wrist. The type of break you have is going to decide what type of treatment your doctor orders. 

If your fracture doesn’t require surgery, your doctor may provide you with a splint or a cast to help ensure proper placement of the bones and wrist support. You’ll typically wear either for five or six weeks and then enter physical therapy to regain range of motion. 

If you need surgery, pins or screws are used to hold the bones in place. The pins may be temporary. After surgery, you’ll wear a cast or splint followed by physical therapy like non-surgical patients. 

You can count on Dr. Shillito to help you regain function after an injury and help you learn preventive strategies for avoiding overuse injuries. Call San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center or book an appointment online today for all of your orthopaedic needs.

You Might Also Enjoy…

hip replacement pain relief

November 14, 2022

Hip replacement is a beneficial treatment that removes damaged parts of the hip and replaces them with a prosthetic component. While the ultimate goal of hip replacement is to restore mobility to the hip and reduce pain, it is common to experience some pain that occurs following surgery as your body recovers. However, there are …

Pain Relief After Hip Replacement Read More »

benefits of hip replacement surgery

November 4, 2022

For those with arthritis that makes walking painful, hip replacement surgery offers a way to replace the damaged bone with a prosthetic. However, like all surgeries, hip replacement surgery can be a big decision. Because of this, it helps to be aware of all the benefits that hip replacement surgery offers when considering if this …

Benefits of Hip Replacement Surgery Read More »

knee replacement pain relief

October 23, 2022

Knee replacement is a safe and effective surgery that can help those with a serious knee injury or arthritis by replacing the surface of the damaged bone in the knee. This then relieves pain in the knee and helps return you to your normal activity level. However, you may have to wait to receive your …

Treatments That Offer Knee Replacement Pain Relief Read More »

Rotator Cuff Surgery

July 16, 2022

It’s estimated that more than 460,000 rotator cuff surgeries are performed each year in the United States, a statistic that is only expected to grow. These numbers place rotator cuff repairs as the second most common orthopedic soft tissue repair. There are two populations most at risk of rotator cuff tears: athletes and the elderly. …

Rotator Cuff Surgery: What to Expect Read More »

Pick the Best Orthopedic Surgeons in San Diego

June 15, 2021

The need to visit an orthopedic surgeon usually indicates that you are in immense pain and in need of expert care. The urge to choose the best orthopedic surgeon can cause anxiety in individuals as they might be unsure of what online information to believe and what to ignore. Some of the common factors to …

How to Pick the Best Orthopedic Surgeons in San Diego Read More »

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

June 15, 2021

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Carpal tunnel syndrome constitutes one of the most common nerve-related entrapment injuries, implying the conditions where the peripheral nerves remain squeezed or pressed for long durations (1). These conditions usually occur due to the excessive use of video games/mouse/game controllers. People whose profession requires them to work on a laptop/computer …

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Read More »

San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, Inc., San Diego, CA

Phone (appointments): 619-229-3932

Phone (general inquiries): 619-229-3932

Address: 6719 Alvarado Road, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92120

© Copyright 2021 


(22 reviews)