A properly working elbow is essential to our daily lives. Unfortunately, there are many injuries that can disrupt the elbow’s ability to function normally. Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine provide the St. Augustine and St. Johns communities with expert sports medicine care. We are proud to have several renowned orthopaedic surgeons as well as licensed physical and occupational therapists on our team.
The elbow is comprised of:
- The humerus – upper arm bone
- The radius – forearm bone on the thumb side
- The ulna – forearm bone on the pinky finger side
- Tendons – fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone
- Muscles – soft tissue surrounding the bones that give us the ability to move
- Cartilage – connective tissue that forms a cushion between bones where they meet
- Ligaments – fibrous tissue that connects ones bone to another
Altogether, these above elements combine to form your elbow, which is normally able to bend and straighten with no pain or resistance. When the elbow stops working properly, you’ll want to see an orthopaedic specialist right away. At Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, we can determine how severe a problem is and decide upon the best course of treatment. Non-surgical treatments can include physical therapy, medication, injections, and rest. If these options don’t work in relieving your pain or they are deemed unfit to treat your issue, surgery may also be discussed.
Types of Elbow Injuries and Diseases
Common causes of elbow problems include overuse, injury, or age-related wear. Below are the most common injuries and diseases that may lead one to require evaluation and treatment:
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) – A condition caused by the overuse of the arm, forearm, and hand muscles that creates pain on the outside of the elbow. It doesn’t affect only tennis players, it can also be found in people from all walks of life.
- Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) – A similar condition to tennis elbow, though it affects the inside of the elbow, rather than the outside.
- Osteoarthritis – A condition resulting from wearing down of the cartilage in the elbow joint. It results in pain, stiffness and may be accompanied by a grating sensation.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – A disease that causes the immune system to attack the membrane that lines the joints. This can lead to pain, swelling, and loss of function.
- Fracture – When a bone breaks, usually stemming from an intense blow or fall.
Elbows may also require surgery long after an injury; if there are fragments of loose bone or cartilage. Surgery may also be needed to clear out scar tissue that is limiting full range of motion.
If you are experiencing elbow pain and would like to discuss your options with a specialist, you may request an appointment online or give us a call at 904-825-0540.