Elbow Pain

What is the Elbow?

The elbow is a hinge point that allows your arm to flex and extend in a motion. This pivotal point enables your arm to move the way it does. The elbow is a junction point of three bones: the humerus, the radius, and the ulna.

Your elbow has the following structural features:

  • Medial epicondyle
  • Olecranon
  • UCL
  • Lateral epicondylitis

Elbow Injuries

An elbow injury can happen to anyone. If you accidentally bump your funny bone, you will feel pain and numbness. In some cases, the sensation is intense. But this sensation goes away without any intervention. If the case is serious, you may experience symptoms like tingling, numbness, swelling, and pain. It can also result in a decreased range of motion.

In most cases, elbow pain is the result of an injury. Even if you do not have a specific injury, you may gradually notice the symptoms. If you want to understand elbow injuries, understanding the function of the elbow can be helpful.

Elbow injuries usually occur during sports or accidental falls. Soccer, wrestling, skateboarding, snowboarding, hockey, and skiing pose higher risks for injury. A direct blow, twisting, or fall may cause an acute injury. Acute injuries include injuries to ligaments, tendons, etc. Too much stress on a joint can lead to overuse injuries. It can also lead to bruises, fractures, burns, or cuts.

Pain, swelling, chills, fever, warmth, or redness can result from an infection. Injecting illegal drugs can also lead to an infection known as a shooter’s abscess. Before you receive treatment, it is important to figure out what type of injury you have. Your physician can help you do that.

No matter what type of injuries you have, there are effective elbow pain treatments available in Atlanta. Let’s learn about treatment options.

Non-Surgical Treatment

If you have an elbow injury while playing sports, stop playing immediately. Your elbow joint needs rest. Unless your injury is severe, you may benefit from simple forms of treatment. Here are some options:

  • Try ice therapy to reduce swelling.
  • Take NSAIDs to fight pain, swelling, and inflammation.
  • Physiotherapy can result in a successful recovery.

Surgical Treatments for Elbow Pain

Elbow Tendinopathy

What is it?

Tendon injury or inflammation of the medial or lateral elbow is known as elbow tendinopathy. Muscles are connected to bones by tendons. In this case, the epicondyles of your elbow are connected to the forearm muscles. Typically, it is divided into lateral epicondylitis or medial epicondylitis.

What causes elbow tendinopathy?

It is an overuse injury. The tendon becomes injured or inflamed due to repetitive stress. It can result in micro-tears. When the overuse injury occurs to the flexor tendon, the condition is referred to as medial epicondylitis. Your physician will examine you and confirm this is the case.

The wrist can flex up due to repetitive movements. And if an overuse injury occurs to the extensor tendon, the condition is referred to as lateral epicondylitis. In this case, the wrist extends down due to repetitive movements.

What are the symptoms of elbow tendinopathy?

If you have this condition, you may feel constant pain laterally or medially. The pain can also be intermittent and sharp. You may feel the pain when extending or flexing the wrist, or during other aggressive activities. Over time, this pain can worsen.

Distal Biceps Repair

Your biceps muscle extends from your shoulder to your elbow. Tendon connects the muscle to the bone. The lower connecting point or the distal insertion is on the radius. The distal biceps tendon enables your elbow to move, flex, and extend.

When the biceps tendon is ruptured or torn, it cannot heal without intervention. The goal of the surgery is to pin the tendon to the insertion. Talk to your physician to know if you need this surgical elbow pain treatment performed in Atlanta.

This open procedure requires making a 2-inch incision close to your elbow. To correct the tendon, the torn distal biceps are debrided. Then the tendon is fixated on the radius bone. The procedure takes about a couple of hours.

It is an ambulatory surgery and therefore it does not require you to stay in the hospital overnight in Atlanta.

Postoperative infection, bleeding, and nerve damage are some possible complications. But these risks are pretty rare. Specific risks include continued pain, postoperative stiffness, and re-tear.

As long as you are on pain medication, you should not drive. Running can be detrimental to the joint, and it will significantly slow down the healing process. You can start using an elliptical machine after a few months, but make sure you do so without arm motions. For the first couple of months, avoid running. Full function will return after approximately 6 months.

Distal Triceps Repair

Triceps muscle extends from your shoulder to your elbow. Tendon connects the muscle to the bone. The lower connecting point or the distal insertion is a part of the elbow. The distal triceps tendon enables your elbow to move and extend.

When the triceps tendon is ruptured or torn, it is not likely to heal on its own. To bring the triceps tendon back to its position, surgery is required. This is a very effective surgical elbow pain treatment that you can get in Atlanta.

This open procedure requires making a 2-inch incision on the back of your elbow. To correct the tendon, the torn triceps tendon is debrided. After that, the tendon is fixated.

The tension of your biceps must be anatomically correct. Your doctor will take care of that. After the surgery, you will regain full strength. But it requires adequate physical therapy.

Just like any surgery, distal triceps repair involves the risks of bleeding, nerve damage, and postoperative infection. But these risks are rare. Specific risks include re-tear, continued pain, and postoperative stiffness.

As long as you are taking pain medication, you should not drive. Running can be detrimental. Avoid running for at least 3 months after your surgery. After a couple of weeks, you may be able to ride a bike. If you get adequate physical therapy, you may be able to engage in all types of normal activities after 3 months.

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