I've tried conservative treatment for tennis elbow, but it hasn't helped. My doctor says surgery's the next step. He wants me to have an arthroscopic procedure. What's that?

This procedure uses a special instrument, an arthroscope, that allows doctors to see inside the elbow joint without making long incisions. This "closed procedure" reduces the risks of surgery, such as infection and the development of scar tissue. It also appears to be very effective in getting rid of patients' symptoms.

With arthroscopy, doctors can remove the lesions that cause tennis elbow. They can also identify any other related problems that may be causing symptoms.

A recent study of 16 patients showed excellent results from this procedure. None of the patients had complications from surgery. And none needed to have more surgery. Ten of the 12 patients asked said they felt much better from surgery, and none said they felt the same or worse.

Arthroscopy seems to be a safe, reliable way to relieve the symptoms associated with tennis elbow. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any questions you have and why he or she thinks this procedure is the best choice for you.