Lizotte Facing More Time on Sidelines with Elbow Injury

Lizotte has been diagnosed with triceps tendinopathy; hopes to compete in May

Simon Lizotte

Simon Lizotte informed his more than 23,000 Facebook followers yesterday that he faces more time away from competition as he continues to rehabilitate what has become a chronic elbow condition.

“My most recent diagnosis is triceps tendinopathy,” he wrote. “I do not have golfers or tennis elbow.”

This diagnosis puts Lizotte in somewhat uncharted territory. Although a recent survey showed that 46% of disc golf injuries occurred to the elbow, the study didn’t discriminate between the types of elbow injury.

When it comes to elbow injuries and sport, most people think of tennis and golfers’ elbow.1 These are an inflammation around the attachment points–either side of the elbow joint–of the muscles that flex and extend the hand. The attachments can inflame when we grip something, like a club or a racquet, and repetitively swing it hard – hence the nicknames.

The triceps tendon is a much different beast. Think ‘Achilles tendon of the arm.’ It is the tendon that attaches the powerful triceps muscle to the point of the elbow. It transfers the force that violently opens the hinge of the elbow joint when we push, punch, and throw. It has been estimated that it accounts for only 3.8% of elbow injuries.

Because the knowledge of the management of this type of tendinopathy isn’t as well understood when compared to our other high load tendons (the Achilles and the patella tendon of our knee), most clinicians borrow the well proven rehabilitation techniques used on these other tendons.

The path to recovery, according to the physical therapists that we spoke to, involves a daily dose of static loading then progressing to load under movement, while avoiding high-speed movements that can cause the tendon to ‘whip’ like a bungee cord. This seems to be exactly the rehabilitation process that Lizotte is coming out of.

“I haven’t been throwing for 4 weeks now, again. And we’ve been loading and exhausting my triceps in every way. We have an 8-week throwing program that starts next week. Throwing slow at first and getting faster every week,” he wrote.

His progress will be watched with interest by many disc golfers, firstly because his legion of fans misses his likable, unaffected style and impossible shot-making but secondly because this seemingly rare injury to the tendon that applies force to the elbow might prove to be not-so-rare as more people play disc golf professionally. Understanding how to recover from it should prove valuable over time.

On the uncharted waters, he’s sailing, Lizotte wrote, “I’m doing my best. After over four months of trying to fix this, I’m getting slightly frustrated and impatient. But some things only time can help. Overall I’m doing well mentally and things will go back to ‘normal’ eventually, right?”

Lizotte also wrote that he hopes to be ready for the OTB Open in Stockton, California, on May 14-16.

  1. lateral and medial epicondylitis 

  1. Kingsley Flett
    Kingsley Flett

    Kingsley Flett is a writer, photographer, and disc golfer who lives in Western Australia. You can find some more of his work on Instagram. He told us that he rides a Kangaroo to work every day, but we don’t believe him.



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