The elbow joint consists of three main arm bones, and is a common area of injury in the body. While most elbow injuries might not be as painful or inconvenient as injuries occurring elsewhere, they can develop long-lasting motion-related complications if not treated properly.
At Southwest Orthopedic Group, we treat every elbow injury with professional care and attention. From chronic issues such as bursitis and tennis elbow, to one-time injuries such as fractures and dislocations, we provide the right level of treatment to thoroughly assess and heal every condition.
Fractures: Elbow fractures are a common injury, and can be caused by a sudden twist, a direct impact, or a fall on the elbow. Fractures usually occur alongside dislocations, strains, or sprains.
Biceps Tendon Tear at the Elbow: The biceps muscle can be found in the front of the upper arm, connected to the shoulder and elbow bones with tendons. The biceps tendon tear at the elbow injury (also known as a distal biceps tendon rupture) is a tear or other kind of damage to this tendon.
Elbow Dislocation: The elbow joint is made up of three different bones connecting at various surfaces. When these joint surfaces become pushed out of place, the elbow becomes partially or completely dislocated, depending on the degree of the dislocation.
Elbow Bursitis: Bursae are sac-like tissue that can be found throughout the body’s various joints, as they help enable movement between bones and muscles. Due to accidents and other events causing impact on the elbow, the bursa in the elbow can become inflamed, causing pain and limiting the elbow’s normal range of motion. This is known as elbow bursitis.
Osteoarthritis of the Elbow: While osteoarthritis is more common in weight-bearing joints (the knees and hips), it can occasionally be experienced in the elbow, due to damage or degradation of the elbow’s cartilage surface. Old age, repetitive elbow activity, or previous elbow injury can lead to osteoarthritis of the elbow.
Elbow Instability: The elbow is comprised of a single upper arm bone and a pair of forearm bones – the humerus with the radius and the ulna. When an individual experiences an injury to the elbow (most commonly an elbow dislocation), this might also cause harm to the ligaments and bones around the elbow joint. This causes a kind of elbow looseness, leading to popping or catching during movement.
Nursemaid’s Elbow: Also known as a pulled elbow or a radial head subluxation, nursemaid’s elbow is the partial dislocation of the elbow in a child. It occurs due to slightly forceful tugs on the elbow bones, and is commonly seen in infants and toddlers.
Tennis Elbow: Often experienced by athletes and laborers who engage in repetitive forceful movements in the arms and wrists, tennis elbow is an inflammation of the tendons around the elbow. This leads to pain and limited range of movement.
Ulnar Nerve Entrapment at the Elbow: The ulnar nerve travels from the neck to the hand, and can occasionally become pressed at the wrist or collarbone. A common point of nerve entrapment is right along the elbow, leading to a condition known as ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow, or cubital tunnel syndrome. This can lead to tingling, numbness, and pain in the fingers and hand.
Non-Operative Bracing and Casting: To isolate your elbow and arm and prevent any movement, we may apply bracing or casting to the area. This ensures that your elbow condition heals completely, with no risk of aggravating the condition.
Elbow Arthroscopy: This procedure involves the insertion of an arthroscope, or a small camera, into the joint of the elbow, giving the surgeon a live feed of the inside of the elbow to help guide their instruments. There is nothing to be worried about as a patient, as the incision required to insert the camera is very small, causing little to no pain.
Injections: With conditions such as elbow inflammation (tennis elbow) and similar issues, injections can help to control the inflammation. Cortisone injections for inflammation is a common treatment method for elbow inflammation.
Ligament Reconstruction: For serious cases of elbow instability and similar conditions, in which the lateral ulnar collateral stabilizer (LUCL) remains loose after other forms of treatment, a patient might need to undergo ligament reconstruction. To reconstruct the ligament, doctors use a tendon found from another part of the patient’s body.
Tennis Elbow Debridement: While tennis elbow leading to surgery is not very common, there are cases where procedures such as tennis elbow debridement become necessary, particularly when the tennis elbow refuses to heal after a year of other forms of treatment. The debridement procedure removes the tendon’s damaged tissue; this leads to increased blood flow to the elbow, activating the body’s natural healing process.
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