The elbow is the joint that connects the humerus (upper arm) to the radius and ulna (forearm). It is a hinge joint that’s composed of a combination of ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bone. Elbow pain can be particularly painful and difficult because of the joint’s key placement in the arm. Patients who suffer from elbow pain often experience significantly diminished ability to complete daily activities.
To find out more about elbow pain or to schedule an appointment with top Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon Sonu Ahluwalia, MD, call us today. Our number is 310.651.7099.
Elbow Injury Symptoms
Elbow pain can affect patients in a variety of ways. The type of pain often depends on the specific injury or condition that’s causing the problem. Common symptoms of elbow injury include:
- Sharp, stabbing pain
- Dull, aching pain
- Pain behind the joint
- Pain in front of the joint
- Pain in the tendons surrounding the joint
- Inability to carry objects or use arm
- Deformity of the joint
- Inability to straighten arm
- Swelling around the joint
Some patients may also experience infection in the elbow, which commonly shows itself through symptoms such as redness, warmth, and tenderness in the area.
Elbow Pain Causes
Elbow pain may stem from a broad variety of causes. These range from repetitive, overuse injuries to degenerative disease. Some of the most common causes of elbow pain include:
- Broken Bone – fracture of a bone in the arm or elbow, typically a result of a hard fall or sharp impact
- Bursitis – swelling of the bursa, the sac around the joint that helps different tissues move with minimum friction and resistance
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – compression of the ulnar nerve that results in shooting pain and numbness in the area of the elbow and down the arm
- Dislocation – an abnormal separation that occurs in the joint
- Medial Epicondylitis – an overuse injury, also known as golfer’s elbow, that causes pain on the inside of the elbow and may affect a patient’s ability to flex the wrist and fingers
- Lateral Epicondylitis – an overuse injury, also known as tennis elbow, that causes inflammation in tendons on the outside of the elbow
- Osteoarthritis – a degenerative disease that causes wear-and-tear breakdown of the joint cartilage
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to destroy its own tissue
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome – nerve compression of the radial nerve leading to pain in the area of the elbow and forearm
- Sprains and Strains – ligaments getting stretched farther than normal, which may also result in tears
Elbow Pain Treatment
Orthopedic surgeon Sonu Ahluwalia, MD, is an expert in treating a broad variety of elbow pain causes and symptoms. In addition to many other conditions, Dr. Ahluwalia specializes in broken elbow surgery. Also known as elbow fracture fixation, broken elbow surgery is a procedure done to repair a fractured bone in the elbow.
The procedure begins with an incision in the back of the elbow. Dr. Ahluwalia then returns the bones to their natural alignment using surgical screws, plate, or pins to fix the bones in place and hold them until they heal. Once the procedure is completed, a cast or splint may be required to support the bones and help hold them in place.
Recovery from Elbow Surgery
Once the elbow surgery has been successfully completed, patients will begin the process of rehabilitation and recovery. Dr. Ahluwalia will speak with you at this time about a personalized recovery plan. The goal of this recovery plan is to help you regain strength and range of motion in the joint. This typically includes a regimen of medication, rest, and physical therapy. The outlook for patients who’ve undergone elbow surgery is highly favorable, with a large majority returning to full elbow function.
Contact an Expert Elbow Surgeon Today
Do you suffer from symptoms of elbow pain? Contact Sonu Ahluwalia, MD, today to schedule an appointment with a top orthopedic surgeon. We’d love to hear from you!