Pain in your elbow might be due to a knock on your funny bone, or it could be a fracture, sprain, or arthritis. If you have elbow pain, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Brian Schofield, MD, of Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics in Sarasota, Florida, can help. Dr. Schofield specializes in using conservative therapies and advanced surgical approaches, such as joint replacement, to resolve elbow pain. To benefit from his experience, call the office to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Sudden elbow pain could be due to an acute injury like a fracture or dislocation, while chronic elbow pain is likely to result from tissue deterioration in the joint.
Dislocations and severe connective tissue damage can also cause elbow instability, where the joint feels weak and is liable to dislocate again.
Some common causes of elbow pain include:
The cubital tunnel is a bony passage in your elbow through which your ulnar nerve passes. If the nerve comes under pressure, it can cause pain and loss of function.
Osteoarthritis is the most widespread arthritis, developing when the articular cartilage protecting the bones in your joints wears away after years of use. Osteoarthritis symptoms include inflammation, stiffness, and chronic pain.
An ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear is an injury that affects some athletes who do a throwing motion often, like baseball players.
Repetitive strain or overuse is a common cause of tendonitis, which is inflammation in the connective tissue joining muscles to bones. Common types of elbow tendonitis include tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis).
A less common cause of elbow pain is a biceps tendon rupture. The biceps tendon attaches your large upper arm muscle to the bone in your elbow.
Unless your injury is particularly severe, Dr. Schofield and Dr. Bright use conservative treatments to begin with, such as:
For many patients, these methods are effective in resolving or reducing elbow pain from conditions, such as arthritis, golfer's elbow, or tennis elbow.
If the pain continues or worsens, you might benefit from joint injections containing steroid medication to reduce inflammation. Regenerative medicine injections containing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can also help by boosting tissue growth and repair.
Dr. Schofield may need to perform surgery if you have a severe injury that won't heal by itself, or if your chronic pain fails to improve using other treatments.
Potential surgeries include fracture repair, ulnar nerve transposition, and elbow replacement.
Radial head fractures are a common type of break in the elbow, affecting the top of the bone in your forearm. Dr. Schofield may have to realign the bones and use screws, pins, or plates to fix them in place.
If you have cubital tunnel syndrome, Dr. Schofield can reposition your ulnar nerve, relieving compression and pain.
If you have severe arthritis or such serious fractures that the bones aren't repairable, Dr. Schofield can remove the damaged sections and replace them with artificial joint components.
Find out how you can get relief from your elbow pain by calling Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics or booking an appointment online.