A variety of degenerative joint conditions can cause arthritis in the elbow; however, the most common form of arthritis that develops in the elbow is osteoarthritis (OA).
Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the articular cartilage of the elbow joint begins to deteriorate. Osteoarthritis is categorized as primary or secondary: Primary OA occurs due to the natural aging process; whereas, secondary osteoarthritis develops following an injury that damaged the articular cartilage.
When an individual has OA of the elbow, he or she may experience stiffness, sharp pain, tenderness and inflammation. The pain associated with osteoarthritis of the elbow may become worse as the arm is extended or flexed. This pain may be caused by inflammation and be associated with use of the joint, activities of daily living and sporting activities such as the throwing motion.
Tennis Elbow (Common extensor tendinosis/tendinitis)
Overuse elbow injuries are frequently sustained by individuals who perform repetitive motions of the elbow. Anyone performing repetitive wrist and arm motions can develop tendinitis; however, tennis players frequently develop this condition, hence it is commonly referred to as tennis elbow. Interestingly, only 10% of people with the condition actually play tennis!
Tennis elbow occurs because this repetitive motion can cause tiny tears in the common extensor tendon, which is the tendon located on the outside of the elbow. This tendon is responsible for attaching the muscles of the forearm to the bony prominence of the elbow.
Symptoms of tendinitis in the elbow include pain on the outer side of the elbow, in the wrist and/or in the forearm. In addition, an individual may experience inflammation, numbness, pain and tenderness. If the elbow injury is severe, loss of mobility or use of the elbow may result. Tendinitis pain typically increases while performing certain activities (e.g., opening jars and shaking hands).
Golfer’s Elbow (Medial epicondylitis/common flexor tendinitis)
Whereas tennis elbow affects the tendon on the outside of the elbow, golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) affects the common flexor tendon that is located on the inside of the elbow. The common flexor tendons attach the forearm muscles to the bony prominence on the inside of the elbow called the medial epicondyle. An individual with golfer’s elbow experiences pain at this location on the inner side of the elbow, and this pain can spread to the wrist and the forearm. Individuals who repeatedly clasp their fingers together or use their wrists repetitively are susceptible to developing medial epicondylitis.
Biceps Sprains and Strains
A biceps sprain occurs when the biceps tendon, which connects the shoulder to the elbow, are torn or stretched beyond their limit. Sprains are ranked according to their severity; a first-degree strain is characterized by the slight tearing or stretching of a ligament, a second-degree strain refers to an incomplete or partial ligament tear and a third-degree strain involves the complete rupture or tear of a tendon. A biceps tendon tear can be partial or complete, and is caused by either repetitive use or sudden trauma. This type of injury frequently occurs when some form of resistance forces the elbow to straighten.
If you are suffering with lingering or unexplained elbow pain, contact Dr. Joshua G. Hackel to schedule an initial consultation. Dr. Hackel provides patients with non-surgical and minimally-invasive procedures for pain relief and regeneration. He specializes in musculoskeletal ultrasound for the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injuries.
Dr. Hackel is a dedicated physician who concentrates on providing his patients with the most innovative diagnostic and pain relief treatment options available. Each patient receives a custom-tailored treatment plan that is specifically designed to meet his or her needs. The caring staff and medical professionals at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida, work together to create coordinating multidisciplinary rehabilitative treatment programs utilizing a variety of procedures and techniques.
Treatment programs may include bone marrow- and adipose-derived stem-cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma injections, and ultrasound-guided diagnostic and/or therapeutic injections to the tendon sheaths, muscles, joints and/or the bursae. Dr. Hackel also offers detailed physical rehabilitation plans, prescriptions and can recommend nutritional supplements to maximize your health and wellness. To schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Joshua G. Hackel at the Andrews Institute, please call 850-916-8783. The address for Dr. Hackel’s office at the Andrews Institute is 1040 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Suite 200, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561.