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Tennis Elbow

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What is Tennis Elbow?

Lateral Epicondylitis, or Tennis Elbow, is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow. It often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint.


Tennis Elbow


What are the common industries that can put you at risk of developing Tennis Elbow?

Any job that requires you to undertake a repetitive or strenuous task could lead to developing the condition.

Some of the most common types of work that can cause tennis elbow are:

  • Decorators – using a paintbrush/roller when decorating
  • Gardeners – using shears whilst gardening
  • Manual work – such as plumbing or bricklaying
  • Production line work  – activities that involve fine, repetitive hand and wrist movements (e.g. using scissors or typing)

What are the symptoms for Tennis Elbow?

The main symptoms of Tennis Elbow are as follows:

  • Pain on the outside of the upper arm (just lower than the elbow). The pain may also travel down the forearm to the wrist
  • Pain when lifting or bending
  • Pain when writing or gripping small objects e.g. pain when holding a pen
  • Pain twisting the forearm e.g. turning the door handle
  • Pain and stiffness when fully extending your arm

Tennis Elbow episodes generally last up to one year but, in extreme cases, the pain can take up to two years to fully resolve.

Tennis Elbow

How is Tennis Elbow treated?

Tennis elbow is a self-limiting condition. This means that with time and rest it should get better without the need for any treatment.

However, it can often take many months, and in extreme cases one to two years, before the elbow fully recovers.

If you have tennis elbow symptoms it is advisable to stop doing any tasks that put extra strain on the tendons and muscles.

If you do not recover in line with expectations, surgery could assist your symptoms. This should be the last resort and an individual should consider all other possible causes of pain in this region prior to undergoing surgery for tennis elbow. The typical procedures are:

Open Surgery

  • Most common surgery for Tennis Elbow
  • The identified portion of damaged tendon is removed
  • The blood flow in the area is stimulated
  • The remaining tendon may be repaired using sutures anchored into the bone

Anthroscopic Surgery

  • This allows your surgeon to look at the elbow joint to ensure there is no other source for the pain
  • Allows for removal of damaged tendon from the bone

After any surgery there is a risk of infection and there are also associated risks to the surgery that may cause you to lose some of your strength and flexibility. These risks will be discussed with your treating consultant.

What is the duty of my employer in protecting me from developing Tennis Elbow? 

Your employer has general common law duties to ensure you have a safe place of work, safe plant or machinery and a safe system of work. If your employers breach these duties a negligence claim could be made against them.

A breach of these common law duties can be shown/proven by identifying breaches in statutory requirements your employer has to comply with.

Under the 1974 Health and Safety Act every employer has a duty so far as is reasonably practicable to ensure the safety and welfare of employees.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

  • Duty to undertake adequate risk assessment (reg 3)
  • Requirement to undertake health surveillance (reg 6)

Provision and use of work equipment

  • Ensure work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, correct working order and in good repair

When undertaking a risk assessment, the following principles should be taken into account:

  • Avoiding risks
  • Evaluating unavoidable risks
  • Combating risks at source
  • Adapting work to the individual
  • Appropriate instructions to employees

Ways to reduce risks are as follows:

  • Ensure there is proper job rotation
  • Ensure that the volume of work being done is appropriate not to lead to a foreseeable risk
  • Ensure there are appropriate staff to undertake the task

Industrial Disease - Safety Equipment

What will my claim be worth?

The value of your claim will depend on the severity of the injuries linked with the work. The court will be guided by the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) guidelines which sets out the levels for different awards.

Typical awards


Complete recovery within a short period (a few months)  £1,930 – £3,090
Symptoms resolving in the course of up to 3 years £7,580 – £9,430
Continuing, but fluctuating and unilateral symptoms £13,080 – £14,330
Continuing bilateral disability with surgery £19,210 – £20,280

On top of the figures above, you will also be able to claim for any specific financial/out of pocket losses such as loss of earnings/medication costs that have been directly caused by the work.


How do I make a claim?

Usually in a personal injury claim, you must have started the claim within 3 years of the injury. However, with industrial disease claims, it may be that the injury started over a period of time and was only diagnosed within the last 3 years.

As this is vital to a potential claim, it is therefore important to seek professional clarification on this.

If you have read the above and feel that you may be suffering from any tennis elbow symptoms whilst exposed to repetitive tasks at work, then call Oakwood Solicitors to speak to our dedicated industrial disease team.

Will I lose my job if I make a claim?

If you are still working for the employers in question, they cannot dismiss you for making or proposing to make a claim. If your employer attempts to do so, then it is likely that you will be able to make a successful unfair dismissal claim. Generally, in our experience, the majority of employers understand their duties owed to you and the rights you have to pursue a claim if this duty has been breached. In most matters, the claim will normally be transferred from the employers directly to their insurers and it will be the insurers who will deal with the defending of the action.

How long will my case take?

The length of time for a case can vary and can strongly depend on how Defendants and their insurers  intend to defend the action. Initially, it may be that we request certain documents from the employers/their insurers for copies of Risk Assessments/job sheets to fully assess the claim before any formal claim is made. Commonly, a case can take anywhere from twelve months up to around three years to reach conclusion.


Why use Oakwood Solicitors to run my Tennis Elbow claim?

We have a very experienced and dedicated team of people in the industrial disease department who are able to identify whether a claim is likely to be viable at an early stage and give advice accordingly. Our teamwork with an extensive network of orthopaedic and hand surgeons. They have dealt with a number of claims in all areas of industrial disease and achieved some excellent results.

If, there are no risk assessments and the Defendants argue that the risk to your health was foreseeable, a report from an Ergonomist may be required. These experts would consider the systems that were in place and whether they were reasonable in all the circumstances.  If required, this is something that we will arrange for in your claim.

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd


Case Study

Mrs. G worked for the Defendant firstly as a stock control assistant, then later as an administrator. From 2017 she worked in the warehouse checking in fashion items. She had a two-level workstation where her right arm was involved by using a mouse on a computer.

She said that the mouse was at a much lower level than the main desk, causing her elbow to be placed in a position of extension with her wrist in extension. Mrs. G noticed after about four to five weeks she began to get an ache in her right arm around the elbow. Mrs. G took her own pain control medication.

Mrs. G’s problems began with discomfort in her right elbow within four to five weeks of changing her job role. She noticed a pain in the lateral part of her arm which she took over the counter medication. She said she also found the area in the warehouse very cold and suffered from cramps in her hands.

The symptoms were keeping her awake in the night. This was also affecting her mood and ability to work. She was signed offer work by occupational health for around five weeks. She was referred to a rheumatologist eventually and she had treatment to her elbow.

A claim was made on behalf of Mrs. G alleging her employer had breached their duty of care to her by providing an unsafe work station and exposed her to a foreseeable risk of injury. It was only after her injuries that the workstation was properly assessed whilst she was on sick leave.

Eventually, the Defendant’s representatives made a settlement offer. Our experienced Industrial Disease solicitors during negotiations managed to nearly double the Defendants initial offer and settled Mrs. G’s claim for £9000.

Could I have any associated claims?

If you are working in an industry that typically puts you at risk to a Tennis Elbow type injury, you could also have been exposed to dangerous levels of noise that may have permanently effected your hearing. While the symptoms of this may not yet be apparent, the damage could have already have occurred. You may wish to look at our following page to consider any other claims you may have: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and Tinnitus


For any advice on Tennis Elbow and associated conditions, get in touch today for a free initial consultation. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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Tim Fieldhouse

Solicitor and Head of Industrial Disease

0113 200 9765

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