Brett Favre's Potential Record-Ending Injury Sheds Light on Common Medical Condition for Many in the Population

Superstar Quarterback's 290th Consecutive Start Questionable as Doctors Reveal More about His Injury

Oct 16, 2010, 11:21 ET from American Society for Surgery of the Hand

ROSEMONT, Ill., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Vikings' quarterback Brett Favre's record hangs in the balance as he suffers from a degenerative elbow injury that affects his accuracy and forced him to miss practice earlier this week leading up to Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.  His condition, Lateral Epicondylitis or "Tennis Elbow," affects many Americans and is generally treatable without surgery under the proper care of a hand specialist.  

Hand Surgeon, Stephen J. Troum, MD, a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand said, "[Lateral Epicondylitis] can definitely affect his throwing arm.  It's an inflammation around the elbow caused by repetitive trauma and characterized by pain and tenderness.  Most people don't realize how debilitating it can be."

Last week against the Jets, Favre missed several wide-open receivers which he attributed to the pain in his elbow.  Dr. Troum added, "It's an overload injury on the extensor tendon of the forearm and can affect athletic performance.  For most people in can be treated without surgery."  According to Vikings Offensive Coordinator, Darrel Bevell, it is unclear whether or not Favre will be able to start in Sunday's game, possibly bringing an end to Favre's NFL-record starting streak of 289.

Lateral Epicondylitis affects 1-3% of the population and is most common in people between 30 and 50 years of age.  Despite its common name, "Tennis Elbow," 95% of those who suffer from the disease get it from activities other than tennis.  A qualified hand surgeon can be helpful in its diagnosis and treatment.

About Hand Surgeons

Hand surgeons have received specialized additional training in the treatment of hand problems in addition to their board certified specialty training in orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, or general surgery.  To become members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, hand surgeons must have completed a full year of such additional training and must pass a rigorous certifying examination.  Many hand surgeons also have expertise with problems of the elbow, arm, and shoulder.  Some hand surgeons treat only children, some treat only adults, and some treat both.  Common problems treated include carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, wrist pain, sports injuries of the hand and wrist, fractures of the hand, wrist, and forearm, and trigger fingers.  Other problems treated by hand surgeons include arthritis, nerve and tendon injuries, and congenital limb differences (birth defects).  Not all problems treated by a hand surgeon need surgery.  Hand surgeons often recommend non-surgical treatments, such as medication, splints, therapy, and injections.  Hand surgeons are specialists devoted to hand care.

About the ASSH

The mission of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) is to advance the science and practice of hand surgery through education, research and advocacy on behalf of patients and practitioners.  Founded in 1946, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand is the oldest medical specialty society in the United States devoted entirely to continuing medical education related to hand surgery.

SOURCE American Society for Surgery of the Hand