ELBOW PAIN

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Elbow Injury in Columbus & New Albany, OH

The elbow joint is a very complex joint that is responsible for the extension and flexion of your arm, as well as the rotation of your hand and forearm. The elbow joint is made up of the humerus (upper arm bone), the radius, and the ulna (lower arm bones).

When something is impeding the way your elbow joint should function, this can often cause you pain. In fact, elbow pain can make some daily tasks very difficult to accomplish.

If you are experiencing constant elbow pain, schedule an appointment with our specialists at JIS Orthopedics. We are experts in helping patients find relief from elbow joint pain.

Contact one of our offices in New Albany, Athens, or St. Clairsville, OH today. We look forward to helping to feel your best again!

Common Elbow Conditions

There could be many reasons why you might experience elbow pain. Listed below are some of the common conditions that cause elbow pain.

Arthritis

Arthritis occurs in the elbow when the cartilage wears out or gets damaged. It can occur because of age, repetitive use, or injuries such as a dislocation or fracture.

Bicep Tendon Tear

The bicep tendon can tear by a sudden injury. This injury can make it difficult to flex the arm and turn the palm upwards.

Bursitis

Bursitis is a swelling at the elbow bursa, a fluid-filled sac at the bony end of the elbow. It can happen through injury or if there is pressure put on the elbow for extended periods of time.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

This refers to an injury to the ulnar nerve inside the cubital tunnel. The cubital tunnel is a hollow area made of muscle, ligament, and bone on the inside of the elbow. Any damage to the cubital tunnel can cause the nerve to be swollen, irritated, or inflamed, resulting in numbness, tingling, pain, and issues with hand use.

Elbow Deformity

Elbow deformity can be congenital. It causes the elbow to extend out from the body when the arm is fully extended.

Dislocation

A dislocated elbow occurs when a person breaks their fall with an outstretched arm. The radius, ulna, and humerus bones become displaced from where they meet at the joint.

Fractures or Instability

Elbow fractures can occur through an impact on the elbow. Instability is a looseness in the elbow that can cause the joint to slide out of place during movement.

Golfer’s Elbow

This condition is a type of tendinitis in the tendons of your forearms that attach to the inside of the elbow joint. Unlike what its name suggests, this condition is not limited to golfers.

Impingement

Impingement in the elbow is damage to the soft tissues, including the cartilage at the back or inside of the elbow joint. It generally affects those who repetitively extend their arm in sports such as baseball, football, or boxing.

Ligament Tears/Instability

Ligament tears are usually an overuse injury. They can occur when an athlete performs repetitive overarm movements, such as in baseball. The ligament damage can range from inflammation to a complete tear.

LUCL Tear

The function of the lateral ulnar collateral ligament (LUCL) is to aid in stabilizing the elbow joint. It helps us in movements such as lifting and pushing ourselves out of a chair. This elbow injury usually occurs due to traumatic injury rather than wear and tear. It can cause elbow pain, weakness, and a sense of the elbow popping out of joint or instability. 

MCL Tear

The elbow’s medial collateral ligament (MCL) usually tears because of forceful, repetitive motions, such as pitching in baseball, rather than a traumatic injury.

Nerve Injury or Laceration

Nerves in the elbow can be damaged through traumatic injuries such as fractures or dislocation. Nerve injury or laceration may cause numbness, muscle weakness, and a tingling or burning sensation.

Radial Head Fracture

A radial head fracture is the most common of all elbow injuries. It usually occurs with falls onto a straight or slightly bent arm.

Radial Tunnel Syndrome

This condition occurs when the radial nerve gets compressed or pinched as it passes through the radial tunnel in the elbow. It typically causes pain in the forearm, particularly with lifting activities.

Revision Elbow Arthroplasty

You may require an arthroplasty or joint replacement revision if there is an infection, fracture, aseptic loosening, or component failure.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks the lining of your joints. This can cause damage which leads to pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Stiffness/Contracture

Elbow stiffness and contractures can occur through trauma, osteoarthritis, elbow surgery, or a congenital condition. It can result in loss of motion and difficulty performing daily activities.

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue between the muscles and the bones of the elbow.

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Tennis elbow is a type of tendonitis affecting the tendon that attaches the upper arm to the elbow. It can develop in athletes who participate in a variety of sports and not just tennis. It can also develop through repetitive movements at work at any age.

Tricep Tendon Tear

This can occur when the elbow is forced to bend during a pushing movement. The tendon can detach from the elbow, causing severe pain and weakness.

How Can Elbow Pain Be Treated?

Your orthopedic surgeon will decide if it’s better to use non-operative or surgical methods to treat your elbow pain. At JIS Orthopedics Upper Extremity Division, we specialize in elbow pain treatment. Our orthopedic elbow specialist can help you choose the best treatment for your unique circumstances.

Below are some of the most common surgical and non-surgical treatments to address elbow pain.

Non-Operative Treatment Options for Elbow Pain

If the elbow injury is mild, non-operative methods can sometimes be used. Some of the most common non-surgical treatment options are listed below.

  • Bracing: A brace will apply pressure to the muscles of the forearm. This will give some relief to the tendon in the elbow. You may use the brace while playing sports or working.
  • Injections: Corticosteroid (cortisone) injections may be used to treat arthritis. They will help in reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may be used to treat pain and inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises can be used to strengthen and stretch the arm muscles attached to the elbow joint.

Surgical Treatment Options for Elbow Pain

There are many surgical treatments available for elbow pain. Some of the most common operative treatments available are listed below.

  • Arthroscopic Debridement: Our orthopedic surgeons can insert a small camera into the elbow to inspect, diagnose and repair problems.
  • Interpositional Arthroplasty: This procedure involves placing new soft tissue in the joint to replace damaged surfaces.
  • Revisions or Re-Do Operations: If a previous joint replacement failed, then a revision can be done.
  • Synovectomy: The surgeon will remove the thickened, inflamed, and painful synovium of the elbow joint.
  • Tommy John Surgery (UCL Repair): This procedure involves taking a piece of tendon from another part of the body to repair the torn ligament.
  • Ulnar Nerve Release: This procedure releases a tight covering over the ulnar nerve to remove pressure from the nerve.
  • Ulnar Nerve Anterior Transposition: This procedure moves the ulnar nerve from behind the medial condyle of the elbow to a position where it is no longer irritated or pinched.
  • Elbow Fracture Fixation: Many elbow fractures require surgical fixation. Almost all elbow fractures can be fixed surgically through same-day surgery.
  • Tennis Elbow Debridement: Tennis elbow surgery is performed for patients who do not improve fully with non-operative measures alone.
  • Bicep Tendon Repair: This procedure locates the bicep tendon through a small incision and reattaches it to the forearm at its natural insertion site.
  • Tricep Tendon Repair: This procedure locates the tricep tendon and reattaches it to the forearm at its natural insertion site.
  • Elbow Contracture Release: This procedure removes bone spurs and tight tissues from the front and back of the elbow to improve motion and reduce pain.

If you are experiencing elbow pain and want to speak to an orthopedic doctor, schedule an appointment with JIS Orthopedics today. We are experts when it comes to treating elbow joint pain.

Our offices are conveniently located in New Albany, Athens, and St. Clairsville, OH. We look forward to helping you address your concerns!

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