Elbow joints allow us to bend, flex, reach, and rotate our arms. However, repetitive overhead movements that are common to some sports and jobs frequently overstress the elbow joints resulting in injury. When elbow conditions related to tendon tears, instability, fractures, arthritis and other conditions impede movement, both surgical and non-surgical treatments are considered to ease pain and help restore movement.
The elbow is an example of a hinge joint or a joint moving in one direction permitting only flexion and extension. The elbow joint is formed by 3 bones ¾ the humerus of the upper arm, and the bones of the forearm: the radius laterally and the ulna medially.
The joint is actually formed by the trochlea of the humerus articulating with the ulna and the capitulum of the humerus articulating with the head of the radius. Although there are two sets of articulations, there is only one joint capsule and a large bursa to lubricate the joint. An extensive network of ligaments helps the elbow joint maintain its stability.
The ligaments of the elbow joint include the ulnar collateral, and the radial collateral ligaments and the annular ligaments. Because so many muscles originate or insert near the elbow, it is a common site for injury.
One common injury is lateral epicondylitis or “tennis elbow”, which means inflammation surrounding the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. Six muscles that control backward movement (extension) of the hand and fingers originate on the lateral epicondyle.
At some time in life, you may experience elbow pain
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When you experience chronic elbow pain, the right solution may be closer than you think. The orthopedic surgeons at Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, P. C. perform various elbow surgeries to treat conditions that include tennis elbow (inflammation and degeneration of tendons that attach to the elbow joint), a broken or fractured elbow, arthritis of the elbow (both from normal wear and tear and rheumatoid arthritis), cubital tunnel syndrome (nerve pain in the elbow) and throwing injuries.
When rest, ultrasound, therapeutic exercise and medications to reduce inflammation are not effective, our surgeons can help you decide whether surgery is right for you and which type of procedure will have the best outcome.
They can perform arthroscopic (minimally invasive) or traditional (open) elbow surgery to repair fractures and resurface the elbow joint using biologic tissue. For some conditions, a partial or complete elbow replacement is the best alternative.
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The information found on this site is for general orthopedic purposes only. In a medical emergency please dial 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room.
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