The elbow is uniquely resistant to damage and disease, but injury and inflammation can result in significant pain as well as loss of use in the arm.
Composed of bone, ligaments, tendons and cartilage, this one-directional joint functions through the processes of flexing and extending. Injury can restrict the patient’s ability to use the entire arm effectively.
In Utah, the Center of Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Excellence specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of elbow injury and pain, with the goal of reducing or eliminating discomfort and returning a full range of function.
Elbow Injury and Pain
Tendonitis, one of the most common elbow conditions, is often the result of overuse and the repetitive motion required for playing certain sports or performing work duties. Tennis players and golfers are especially susceptible to this type of injury. However, anyone may experience problems in this joint. Elbow tendonitis is equally common for painters, carpenters and gardeners.
Elbow sprains, dislocations and fractures can also result in significant pain and loss of use. Sprains result when ligaments become stretched or torn, typically after a twisting-type fall.
In some cases, elbow pain may not truly involve the structures of the joint itself. Pain in the elbow can occur as the result of a biceps tendon tear or damage to muscles in the forearm.
Common Elbow Conditions
The elbow may become susceptible to a number of conditions and diseases that require the attention of an orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine specialist.
Systemic arthritis, including psoriatic, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, can result in a range of symptoms including pain, stiffness and inflammation. Bursitis of the elbow is another common condition, resulting from inflammation of the bursa — small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints. Septic arthritis, cellulitis and, in rare cases, bone growth or a tumor, may also cause significant discomfort and loss of use.
Elbow Diagnosis and Treatment
When you visit the orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine physician, the doctor will begin the diagnostic process by examining the elbow, manipulating it for mobility and range of motion, and observing it for any visible swelling. The doctor may also request diagnostic tests such as X-rays or an MRI.
Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor or surgeon will recommend a treatment plan to restore function and reduce pain. Potential treatment can include rest and rehabilitation, elbow pain management, cortisone injections or an orthopedic appliance such as a cast or brace.
In some cases, elbow surgery may be warranted to address the problem. If so, minimally invasive surgical techniques will be used whenever possible.
In northern Utah, the Center of Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Excellence offers convenient locations in Tooele, Riverton, West Jordan and West Valley City. Our state-of-the-art facilities are designed to provide leading-edge care in a friendly, compassionate environment. Trust our experienced orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine physicians to provide personalized treatment and rehabilitation for elbow pain or injury.