When Swinging Shawn retired two years ago, he thought that the best time of his life was just beginning. After decades of traveling for business and long days at the office, he would finally have time for himself. He could take long lunches, go strolling in the park, and read novels instead of meeting memos. But most of all, Swinging Shawn was excited that he could dedicate more time to his favorite hobby, golf. Swinging Shawn had played golf for years but due to his hectic life at work, he wasn’t able to head to the green very often. So when he retired, he started playing every morning.
The first year of retirement was wonderful. Swinging Shawn enjoyed his days swinging and putting away, and his shots were getting close to perfection. But then something changed. He started experiencing pain on the inside of his elbow that radiated to his forearm. His grip also became weaker and his elbow got stiff. And the worst part for Swinging Shawn was that these symptoms would get worse on the green and he was not able to swing the golf club like he used to. Swinging Shawn refused to give in to the pain, and he decided to go see the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas. His neighbor Harry had visited the doctors to get his Dupuytren’s disease treated and referred them to Swinging Shawn.
“Well, Shawn, tell me what’s going on with your elbow?” the doctor asked Swinging Shawn during his initial appointment. “I have started feeling pain in my elbow and forearm. My elbow is also very stiff which prevents me from swinging my golf club properly. The other day, I was at the golf course, ready to swing. I warmed up and removed the brace from my elbow and got ready for a great shot. I swung my club and I felt a devastating pain on the inside of my elbow,” Swinging Shawn explained. The doctor decided to conduct a physical exam to properly diagnose Swinging Shawn’s condition.
After the physical exam, the doctor explained that based on Swinging Shawn’s symptoms as well as the results of the exam, Swinging Shawn’s discomfort seemed to be caused by a condition caused golfer’s elbow. Golfer’s elbow is a type of tendinitis of the elbow and it occurs when the tendons that attach the forearm to the elbow become inflamed. The inflammation is typically caused by activities that overuse and put stress on the muscles and tendons, such as gripping and swinging the golf club. In addition to golfers, the condition is common among tennis players, baseball pitchers, and bowlers. Golfer’s elbow develops over time when the activities that overuse the tendons and muscles are performed regularly, for extended periods of time.
“So, what can we do to stop the pain?” Swinging Shawn asked the doctor. “Do I… Do I need a surgery?” he added, a little bit nervous. The doctor explained to Swinging Shawn that golfer’s elbow is typically treated with conservative treatment forms, only very severe cases might require a surgery. This made Swinging Shawn feel relieved and happy that he had sought treatment early on.
To ease Swinging Shawn’s symptoms, his doctor at the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas had recommended for him to wear a brace and ice the elbow to reduce the inflammation. The doctor also told Swinging Shawn to stay away from swinging a golf club for a couple of weeks to rest the elbow properly. They also worked together to build a physical therapy program for Swinging Shawn to help strengthen the elbow.
After a proper recovery, Swinging Shawn was able to return to the green. However, the doctor advised him to do stretching and strengthening exercises and warm up properly before swinging. Swinging Shawn also needed to reduce the amount of time he on the golf course each morning and to take days off from playing to avoid having the symptoms return. At first, Swinging Shawn wasn’t happy about this change, but then he got brilliant idea to help fill the time! He would start teaching his grandchildren how to play golf the days that he couldn’t play himself. Now his grandkids are learning how to swing like pros, and Shawn enjoys teaching them almost as much as he enjoys playing!
Shawn is now back to enjoying his happy retirement days on the green, but are you suffering from similar symptoms to his? Come see us and take back your swing. We always determine the best course of treatment for each patient, whether it’s a surgical procedure or a non-surgical treatment form. Make an appointment today!