Elbow Common Injuries

Elbow Common Injuries

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Biceps Tendinopathy

Biceps tendonopathy affects the biceps tendon at the attachment site at the elbow. Repeated strain on the tendon can cause tiny micro-tears in the tissue which can cause pain and inflammation. This may be caused by forced flexion or supination of the arm or with repetitive motion.

Symptoms include pain and weakness at the elbow. Pain will often get worse when trying to use the biceps, such as flexion or supination.

Treatment often includes a period of rest, physical therapy, and activity modification. Dr. Sampson uses ultrasound for accurate diagnosis and guided injections for refractory cases.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is an irritation and inflammation of the nerve (“neuritis”) on the inside portion of the elbow (the ulnar nerve) which can lead to elbow pain, and numbness, tingling, and weakness of the involved hand. This is often caused by prolonged or repetitive activities that cause the elbow to be bent.

Symptoms include numbness or tingling in the little and ring finger, pain on the inside of the elbow, and grip weakness or difficulty with small movements such as typing.

Treatment often includes activity modification and bracing. Dr. Sampson performs ultrasound guided injections for refractory cases.

Elbow Arthritis

Elbow joint arthritis is arthritis at the articulation of the humerus with the radius/ulna. Over time the cartilage wears down and causes the bones to rub together causing pain.

Symptoms include pain, weakness, and limited motion at the elbow.

Treatment often includes a period of rest, activity modification, physical therapy, and bracing. Dr. Sampson performs ultrasound guided injections for refractory cases.

Elbow strain/sprain

A strain or sprain is an injury to a muscle or ligament. An elbow injury could occur suddenly from a fall or if it is twisted too hard. These injuries are common in sports or overuse/repetitive motions that involve the muscles or ligaments of the elbow. The muscles that are attached to the elbow help control motions of the wrist.

Symptoms may occur immediately after an injury, or they may slowly worsen over the course of a few days. This might include a feeling of sharp pain or popping sensation on one side of the elbow. The pain may also appear gradually over time or only hurt with certain motions of the elbow. The elbow might feel stiff and have limited movement.

Treatment often includes a period of rest, activity modification, physical therapy, and bracing. Dr. Sampson performs ultrasound diagnostics to determine the extent of injury.

Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)

Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) affects the inside of the elbow. The flexor tendons in the forearm connect to the bony part on the inside of the elbow. Due to excess or repetitive stress, these tendons become irritated and painful around the attachment site.

Symptoms include pain with possible weakness of the elbow and forearm. This may be worse with gripping and/or flexing at the wrist.

Treatment often includes a period of rest, activity modification, physical therapy, and bracing. Dr. Sampson performs ultrasound guided injections for refractory cases. The pain may be constant or only occur with activity It may have a sudden or gradual onset.

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

 

Symptoms include pain on the outside of the elbow that is made worse by gripping objects and/or extending the wrist. The pain may be constant or only occur with activity It may have a sudden or gradual onset.

Treatment often includes a period of rest, activity modification, physical therapy, and bracing. Dr. Sampson performs ultrasound guided injections for refractory cases.

Triceps Tendonitis

Triceps tendonitis affects the triceps tendon at the attachment site at the back of the elbow. Repeated strain on the tendon can cause tiny micro-tears in the tissue which can cause pain and inflammation. This may be caused by extending or hyper-extending the arm during repetitive motion.

Symptoms include pain and weakness in the triceps at the elbow. Pain will often get worse when trying to use the triceps, such as in pushing or pulling motions with the arms.

Treatment often includes a period of rest, activity modification, and physical therapy. Dr. Sampson uses ultrasound for accurate diagnosis and guided injections for refractory cases.

Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries

Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries can occur in athletes that place a lot of stress on the elbow joint, often while throwing. The UCL is a ligament that is located on the inside of the elbow. The UCL of the elbow becomes stretched, frayed, or torn from repetitive stress on the elbow joint. This may occur during a specific activity or with repeated micro-trauma to the ligament. The weakened ligament may completely rupture, causing pain. This injury most commonly occurs in baseball pitchers, but also may occur in javelin throwers and people who play racket sports. It may also occur as a result of falling on an outstretched hand.

Symptoms include pain along the inside portion of the elbow. Patients may also notice popping, clicking, or grinding in the elbow joint.

Treatment often includes a period of rest, activity modification, physical therapy, and bracing. Dr. Sampson uses ultrasound for accurate diagnosis and guided injections for refractory cases.

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