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Elbow Pain

Everything you need to know

We provide specialized care to diagnose and treat a wide range of upper extremity issues that affect the elbow, including arthritis, tendonitis, tennis and golfer’s elbow, ligament sprains, and bursitis. Some of these elbow problems result from accidents or sports injuries, while others develop over time due to wear and tear of the joint and ligaments. Our medical team offers comprehensive non-operative solutions for your elbow conditions or injuries, no matter the level of complexity. Treatment options can range from non-surgical treatments and therapies such as physical therapy, NSAIDs, analgesics, and interventional procedures. Surgery may be recommended if your pain does not improve with non-surgical methods.

Common elbow pain conditions

Although elbow pain is common, we know that it can have a significant impact on your life. Stop suffering and let Ortho Spine Life alleviate your elbow pain and get you back to doing the things you love.

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Elbow (olecranon) bursitis occurs when the fluid filled sac, or bursa, at the tip of the elbow becomes inflamed. Often, the first sign of bursitis is swelling at the tip of the elbow

Elbow bursitis can occur from a number of reasons including trauma, prolonged pressure, infection, and medical conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout).

Non-surgical treatment options include elbow pads, activity modification, medications, corticosteroid use. If the bursitis is due to an infection, aspiration of the bursa, and or antibiotics may be used. Surgery may be recommended if nonsurgical treatment does not work.

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a condition of the elbow in which the forearm muscles become damaged from overuse. The condition is common in athletes, and in people with jobs that require vigorous and repetitive use of the forearm. Inflammation, or micro tearing of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow lead to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

Common signs and symptoms of tennis elbow include:

  • Pain or burning on the outer part of the elbow
  • Weakness, particularly in grip strength
  • Dull, achy pain at night.

The symptoms are often worsened with forearm activity such as holding a racket, turning a wrench, or shaking hands. Approximately 90% of patients have success with non-surgical treatment, which can include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, analgesics, physical therapy, braces, and or interventional measures.

Osteoarthritis of the elbow occurs when the cartilage surface of the elbow is worn out, or is damaged. This can happen because of a previous injury such as elbow dislocation or fracture. Most commonly, it is the result of a normal, wearing away of the joint cartilage from age and activity. Injury to the ligaments resulting in an unstable elbow can cause osteoarthritis even if the elbow surface is not damaged. This is because the normal surfaces across the elbow are altered, causing the joint to wear out more rapidly.

The most common symptoms of elbow arthritis are pain and loss of range of motion; these symptoms may not occur at the same time. Patients usually report a ‘grating’ or ‘locking sensation’ in the elbow. The ‘grating’ is due to loss of the normal smooth joint surface. This is caused by cartilage damage or wear and tear. The ‘locking’ is caused by loose pieces of cartilage or bone that dislodges from the joint and become trapped between the moving joint surfaces thereby blocking motion. In the later stages of osteoarthritis of the elbow, patients may notice numbness in the ring finger and small finger.

Nonsurgical treatment which can include oral medication, physical therapy, activity modification, and interventional measures can help in the early stages. When non-surgical interventions are not enough to control symptoms, surgery may be needed.

How Ortho Spine Life can help.

Ortho Spine Life provides individualized care for a wide spectrum of elbow conditions including tennis elbow, osteoarthritis of the elbow, and elbow bursitis. Our medical team takes a conservative approach focusing on non-surgical treatment options and therapies when possible to help alleviate pain and restore function.

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