The US Open is upon us. For a few weeks, Americans will turn their attention toward the tennis leaderboards and cheer for up and coming stars, like Denis Shapovalov, and veterans, such as Venus Williams. However, one of the biggest names in tennis will be missing his first US Open since 2005 due to an elbow injury.
Novak Djokovic won’t be competing in the US Grand Slam Tournament after experiencing elbow pain during a match in Wimbledon. He explained that he had been nursing the injury for 18 months, but the pain was not decreasing. “All the doctors I’ve consulted, and all the specialists I have visited, in Serbia and all over the world, have agreed that this injury requires rest,” Djokovic said.
This chronic issue may be caused by the infamous tennis elbow. With such long hours of training and competing, overusing the elbow joint is inevitable for a tennis player, which is why the condition received its nickname. What tennis elbow really refers to is Lateral Epicondylitis – tendonitis in the tendon that runs from the upper arm to the forearm along the outside of the elbow joint. While this tendon offers stability to the joint as it bends, extends, and rotates, overusing the joint can cause the tendon to rub against bone and other tissues. This irritation results in inflammation that causes pain and even a limited range of motion.
Dr. Rupesh Tarwala, NYC’s elbow expert, often treats patients with tennis elbow agrees that rest is one of the most important aspects of recovery. While tennis elbow can be successfully treated with anti-inflammatory corticosteroid shots and physical therapy, the tendon simply needs time to heal.
While Djokovic will be missed by many fans at the 2017 US Open, he will take the year to spend time with his family before returning to the courts.