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Elbow

Elbow Pain

Most Common Causes for Elbow Pain

ARTHRITIS – OSTEOARTHRITIS

Arthritis literally means “inflamed joint.” Normally a joint consists of two smooth, cartilage-covered bone surfaces that fit together as a matched set and that move smoothly against one other. Arthritis results when these smooth surfaces become irregular and don’t fit together well anymore and essentially “wear out.” Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it is most noticeable when it affects the hands and fingers. Read More.

ARTHRITIS – RHEUMATOID

Arthritis means an inflamed joint. A joint normally consists of two cartilage-covered bone surfaces that glide smoothly against one another. When joints become inflamed, the joint swells and does not move smoothly. Over time, the gliding surface wears out. There are many types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is just one type. Read More.

COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME – CRPS

Formerly Known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a pain condition that is constant over a long period of time that is believed to be the result of dysfunction in the central or peripheral nervous systems. CRPS is characterized by pain, swelling or stiffness in the affected hand or extremity.

CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME & Elbow Pain

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition brought on by increased pressure on the ulnar nerve at the elbow. There is a bump of bone on the inner portion of the elbow (medial epicondyle) under which the ulnar nerve passes. When the pressure on the nerve becomes great enough to disturb the way the nerve works, then numbness, tingling, and pain may be felt in the elbow, forearm, hand, and/or fingers. Read More.

ELBOW FRACTURES

Elbow pain, swelling, bruising, and stiffness in and around the elbow suggest a possible fracture. A snap or pop at the time of injury may be felt or heard. Skin openings
may reflect communication between the bone and the outside environment. Visible deformity would indicate displacement of the bones or a dislocation of the elbow joint. It is always important to check for possible nerve and/or artery damage. Read More.

GOLFING INJURIES – GOLFERS ELBOW

The elbow may be affected with “golfer’s elbow”, which is a painful tendonitis on the inner aspect of the elbow at the origin of the “flexor/pronator” muscles. They originate off of a bony prominence of the humerus (arm bone) called the medial epicondyle, and so this condition is also called “medial epicondylitis” Read More.

OLECRANON BURSITIS

The olecranon (oh-LEH-cruh-nahn) is the “pointy” bone at the tip of the elbow. A “bursa”-a small sac of fluid-covers the tip of this bone, allowing soft tissues such as the skin to slide over the bone. Normally, this sac has only a tiny amount of fluid inside of it and is essentially flat. However, sometimes, this area gets irritated and the body makes extra fluid inside the sac. This can cause a big “balloon” to form at the tip of the elbow. Read More.

SYSTEMIC DISEASES

The hands, being composed of many types of tissue, including blood vessels, nerves, skin and skin-related tissues, bones, and muscles/tendons/ligaments, may show changes that reflect a disease that affects other parts of, or even the whole body (systemic diseases). The hands may show changes noticed by the patient or his/her hand surgeon even before the systemic disease is detected.

SKIN CANCER OF THE HAND AND UPPER EXTREMITY

Skin cancer is a change in some of the cells of your skin such that they grow abnormally to form a malignant tumor. These abnormal cells can invade through the skin into adjacent structures or travel throughout your body and become implanted in other organs and continue to grow, a process called metastasis.

TENNIS ELBOW – LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS

Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, is a painful condition involving the tendons that attach to the bone on the outside (lateral) part of the elbow. Tendons anchor the muscle to bone. The muscle involved in this condition, the extensor carpi radialis brevis, helps to extend and stabilize the wrist. With lateral epicondylitis, there is degeneration of the tendon’s attachment, weakening the anchor site and placing greater stress on the area. Read More.

Material modified from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.