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Elbow Pain

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Tennis Elbow

elbow-pain-graphic Tennis Elbow is a painful condition involving the tendons that attach to the bone on the outside part of the elbow. Overuse causes degeneration of the tendon's attachment that can lead to pain during particular activities, most commonly tennis or other sports, but may occur with other activities. Symptoms include pain and tenderness in the affected area. Men or women between 30 to 50 years old are most commonly affected by this condition.

Treatments for Tennis Elbow include activity limitation, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or wearing a brace. Surgery is only considered when pain doesn't respond to conservative care, and symptoms have lasted more than six months. Two methods are available — traditional open surgery or arthroscopy — a procedure performed with instruments inserted into the joint through small incisions. Both are performed in an outpatient setting.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is brought on by increased pressure on the ulnar nerve at the elbow. The ulnar nerve lies directly next to the area of the elbow commonly known as the "funny bone" and is susceptible to pressure. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome occurs when pressure on the nerve is significantly enough sustained to disturb the way the ulnar nerve works.

Symptoms usually include pain, numbness, and and/or tingling. The numbness or tingling most often occurs in the fourth (ring finger) or fifth (little finger) fingers. Symptoms are usually felt when there's repetitive pressure on the nerve, such as sitting with the elbow on an arm rest or bending and straightening the elbow.

Pain from Cubital Tunnel Syndrome may sometimes be relieved without surgery, particularly if the pressure on the nerve is minimal. This may include therapy and behavioral changes. If symptoms are severe or don't improve, surgery may be needed to relieve the pressure on the nerve.

Olecranon "Funny Bone" Fractures

This is a type of fracture injury of the most prominent bone of the elbow, called the "olecranon". These fractures can occur by either falling directly on the elbow, or when the triceps muscle pulls off a fragment of bone from the elbow. The Olecranon Fracture can impair your ability to straighten the elbow joint.

Treatment of an Olecranon Fracture depends on the amount of displacement of the fracture fragments and the function of the triceps muscle. If the fracture is not displaced or minimally displaced and you're able to extend the elbow, most likely surgery isn't necessary. In these cases protected motion and time will heal the fracture. Otherwise, surgical treatment of the fracture will be needed.

Osteoarthritis of the Elbow

Osteoarthritis of the Elbow occurs when the cartilage surface of the elbow is damaged or becomes worn. This can happen due to previous injury or a result of degeneration of the joint cartilage from age. Onset typically occurs in patients 50 years of age or older and is more common in men than women. Symptoms include pain and loss of range of motion. Patients usually report a "grating" or "locking" sensation in the elbow. Joint swelling may occur as the disease progresses.

Nonsurgical treatments are available in the early stages of Osteoarthritis of the Elbow— the most common being oral medications to reduce pain, physical therapy, and activity modification. When nonsurgical interventions aren't enough to control symptoms, surgery may be necessary.

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