What is Elbow Pain?
Elbow pain is categorized as any discomfort occurring around your elbow joint. The pain can extend into your forearm or upper arm depending on your condition, or the injury you have sustained. As we often use our elbows to lift things, to drive, and even to lean our weight on, pain in your elbow can often be debilitating.
More often than not, elbow pain is caused by a tendon that has become inflamed and sensitive due to overuse. Because of this discomfort, people with elbow pain may also experience restricted motion or will be unable to hold the proper form while conducting every day activities, or playing sports. However, elbow pain can also occur as a result of arthritis, a car or biking accident, or because of a slip and fall.
What are the Symptoms of Elbow Pain?
The symptoms of elbow pain may depend on your personal level of pain tolerance, but it can range anywhere from a dull ache to the excruciating pain associated with a fracture.
Elbow pain can also manifest as a feeling of numbness, pins and needles, and burning as well as a sharp and sudden burst of excruciating pain.
Pain in your elbow can be linked to many different causes, ranging from a torn tendon or ligament, a degenerative disease, arthritis, or a fracture.
If you are experiencing elbow pain, take a few moments to try and pinpoint when your elbow began hurting and a potential cause. If you have recently fallen and landed on your elbow, and you’re experiencing pain, swelling, or restricted motion, you will want to be seen by a professional as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing elbow pain combined with any of the symptoms listed above, make sure you’re seen by an orthopedic surgeon at the Handsport Surgery Institute to get you on the right path to recovery.
Structural Damage to Your Elbow
Though the elbow is a sturdy joint, it’s possible to be experiencing elbow pain due to structural damage to your elbow. This includes damage to ligaments, cartilage, bone, and synovium
Structural damage to your elbow is most often caused by an accident, sports injury, or fall.
It is these circumstances that require an urgent trip to an orthopedic specialist or hospital. Because you use your elbow joint for most day-to-day activities, it is imperative to have your elbow injury properly treated so that it may heal correctly.
When a patient does not seek medical attention following an elbow injury or the sudden onset of pain, it is possible for the condition to worsen and become irreversible. Only through professional care can you ensure that your range of motion and comfort will be prioritized.
Why Does My Elbow Hurt?
Elbow pain can be brought on by a number of injuries and conditions, but HandSport Surgery Institute most commonly sees patients who are suffering from golfer’s elbow, torn tendons, ligaments, fractures, and arthritis.
For an accurate, and complete diagnosis, please contact us.
Common Causes of Elbow Pain
Your elbow pain could be directly related to an injury you acquired while playing a sport, lifting and carrying things, or simply because of aging and arthritis. However, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can avoid worsening pain or permanent damage to your elbow.
Here are some of the most common causes of elbow pain that we see in our office:
This type of injury is frequently a result of someone lifting something that is above their ability. Lifting something that is too heavy puts stress on your bicep tendon, leading patients to sometimes feel a “pop” and pain in their elbow. Depending on the severity of your tendon rupture, you may need anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, or surgical repair.
If you have had an accident that impacted your elbow, and you’re experiencing sudden pain, you may be suffering from an elbow fracture. Elbow fractures are considered when the radius, ulna, or humerus are damaged. Careful evaluation for treatment of injuries to lateral and medial ligament complexes is always performed. Physical therapy, a sling or a cast, and surgical repair may be used as treatment options.
Osteoarthritis of the Elbow is the gradual wearing away of the cartilage that covers the bones of the elbow joint. Osteoarthritis of the elbow most commonly occurs when a prior traumatic accident has damaged the cartilage surfaces due to fracture or dislocation. Anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and minimizing stress on the elbow can help reduce pain and improve motion. More advanced cases of osteoarthritis, especially when there is extensive osteophyte formation that creates a bony block to motion, may benefit from surgery.
Pitcher’s Elbow is a condition referring to the inflammation or laxity of the medial collateral ligament that connects the humerus to the ulna. It can occur after strenuous, repetitive motion – like pitching a baseball. Symptoms of pitcher’s elbow usually include pain, clicking and elbow instability, as well as numbness in the little and ring fingers due to ulnar nerve irritation. Painful bone spurs may also be present.
Getting a Diagnosis for Your Elbow Pain
Alleviating your elbow pain requires that you see a professional to accurately diagnose the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan to correct the condition.
At Handsport Surgery Institute, surgery is the last option and we prefer to work closely with patients through different treatment options, like physical therapy, a steroid injections, or platelet rich plasma before surgery becomes an option.
Your body is always trying to heal, but it is important to be seen by a professional as soon as possible. The sooner you are seen for your elbow pain, the less likely it is that you’ll need surgery to alleviate your symptoms.
Treatment Options for Elbow Pain
Whether you’re experiencing sudden Elbow pain or have been living with slight discomfort, it is important to be seen by a professional to be able to accurately understand and treat the cause of your pain.
With over 40 years of combined experience, Drs. Jason and Mark Pruzansky are able to treat all forms of elbow pain and other orthopedic conditions. Because of their level of expertise and specialization, Drs. Pruzansky have successfully performed surgery on some of the most complex injuries and conditions to help their patients regain function and comfort following instances of elbow pain or injury.
Non-surgical Treatments for Elbow Pain
In some cases, injuries and conditions causing pain in your elbow may be treated with non-surgical methods. Depending on the severity of your pain, you may be eligible for conservative treatment options like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, splinting, sport technique education, ergonomic training, and cortisone injections.
Based on your individual circumstance, your HandSport Surgery Institute team will be able to determine the best non-surgical treatment available to you.
Surgery for Elbow Pain
Minimally invasive surgery may be of benefit for refractory cases and trauma or ligament injuries, including medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament injuries. Drs. Jason and Mark Pruzansky have specialized in surgery and revision surgery, among other procedures, designed to restore function and lessen discomfort in your Elbow.
If You Believe You Have an Underlying Injury or Condition Causing Your Elbow Pain…
Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with our talented team. Elbow pain can present in many ways and be caused by many things. Call Dr. Pruzansky at 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment, obtain an accurate diagnosis, and start to restore comfort to your elbow.