The elbow is referred to as a synovial hinge joint, or the location where the humerus in the upper arm meets the radius and ulna in the forearm. An injury or disease can harm the joint and make it painful to move. Although elbow pain is not typically life-threatening or serious, it can hinder an individual’s quality of life since the elbow is necessary to perform certain arm and hand movements.
Causes of Elbow Pain
Many times, elbow pain is caused by overuse due to a sport, hobby, or job that requires repetitive movements of the hand, wrist, or arm. Occasionally, it may be the result of a progressive medical condition such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Conditions of Elbow Pain
Elbow pain may be the symptom of a variety of conditions. Here at South Shore Orthopedics, we regularly see patients who suffer from one of these conditions along with elbow pain:
- Olecranon Bursitis: Redness, inflammation and swelling at the posterior elbow is referred to as olecranon bursitis.
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: Cubital tunnel syndrome arises when there is a significant amount of pressure on the ulnar nerve in the cubital tunnel of the elbow, which is a narrow channel inside the elbow that the ulnar nerve passes through.
- Ulnar Neuropathy: A disorder caused by the entrapment of the ulnar nerve that leads to tingling and numbness is ulnar neuropathy.
- Fracture or Ligamentous Injury: Bone fractures and ligament sprains are typically the result of a collision in contact sports or a fall onto the elbow or arm.
- Loose Body in the Elbow: A loose body in the elbow may occur when small pieces of bone chips or cartilage break off in the elbow joint and get stuck.
- Lateral Epicondylitis: Lateral epicondylitis, known commonly as tennis elbow, is defined as the inflammation of the tendons of the elbow and often triggered by the overuse of the forearm muscles.
- Medial Epicondylitis: Medial epicondylitis, baseball elbow, or golfer’s elbow is pain from the elbow to the wrist on the inside of the elbow and is prompted by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist toward the palm.
How Are Elbow Conditions Treated?
At South Shore Orthopedics, we focus on conservative care to treat elbow pain conditions so that surgery can be avoided when possible. In most instances, our surgeons will recommend anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics for any infections, elbow wraps or elbow pads, avoiding activities that irritate the affected area, and physical therapy. If non-invasive measures prove to be ineffective, one of the following surgical procedures may be conducted.
Surgical Procedures for Elbow Pain:
- Elbow Arthroscopy: An elbow arthroscopy makes it possible for a surgeon to look inside a joint via a small incision with instruments that are about the width of a pencil. It is a minimally invasive procedure that disrupts less soft tissue, leads to less swelling and stiffness, and a faster recovery than traditional surgery methods.
- Ulnar Nerve Transposition: This procedure involves a surgeon forming a new tunnel from the flexor muscles of the forearm. Once this is done, the ulnar nerve is moved out of the cubital tunnel and transferred into the new tunnel.
- Medial Epicondylectomy: In a medial epicondylectomy, the medial epicondyle on the inside of the edge is removed so that the ulnar nerve is able to slide through the cubital tunnel without any pressure.
- Fracture Fixation and Ligament Repair: Provide internal fixation, frequently with plates and screws, or secure ligament repair, as indicated based on the injury.
Make an Appointment at South Shore Orthopedics for Elbow Pain Relief
If you are experiencing persistent elbow pain, make an appointment with South Shore Orthopedics today. Our surgeons will investigate your elbow to pinpoint the root cause of the pain and design a treatment plan that will give you the relief you deserve.