Elbow Pain Treatment in Pittsburgh, PA
Although the elbows are not weight-bearing joints, they are considered to be most important for the functioning of the upper limbs. The elbow is a complex joint that is made up of the humerus (upper arm bone) and the ulna (forearm bone), which are connected by a series of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The elbow joint is surrounded by a thin layer of cartilage that helps to cushion the bones and allow them to move smoothly. When this cartilage breaks down, elbow arthritis occurs and causes the bones to rub together.
Elbow arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and interference with the use of the arm. Arthritis in elbow symptoms often include:
- Pain - The pain of elbow arthritis is often described as a deep, aching pain that is worse with activity. The pain may also be sharp and shooting when the elbow is moved in certain directions.
- Swelling - Elbow arthritis can cause the joint to swell, which may make it difficult to fully extend the arm.
- Stiffness - The elbow joint may feel stiff and difficult to move. This is especially noticeable in the morning or after a period of rest.
- Weakness - Elbow arthritis can cause weakness in the arm and hand. This can make it difficult to grip objects or perform other activities that require manual dexterity.
Arthritis of the elbow is most common in older adults, but it can also develop in younger people who have had an injury to the elbow joint. The most common cause of the condition is wear and tear, although traumatic injuries, fractures, and dislocations can make you more susceptible to developing arthritis.
If you are experiencing symptoms of elbow arthritis, you should seek treatment from an orthopaedic elbow specialist like Dr. Brian J. Kelly as soon as possible. Dr. Kelly can diagnose and treat arthritis in the elbow to relieve your pain and improve your mobility.
If you’re ready to find relief, schedule your first appointment with Dr. Brian J. Kelly today.
Elbow Arthritis Surgery Near Me
Elbow Arthritis Treatment
Treatment for elbow arthritis often begins with conservative measures such as medications and steroid injections to relieve pain, activity modification like elbow arthritis exercises, and the use of splints. If these methods do not provide relief, your doctor may recommend surgical options like an elbow arthroscopy.
Elbow arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can be used to treat a variety of elbow disorders, including arthritis. The procedure is performed through tiny incisions to evaluate and treat several elbow conditions.
Elbow arthroscopy is commonly performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. Here’s how it works:
- During the procedure, you will be placed in a lateral or prone position, which allows your surgeon to easily adjust the arthroscope and have a clear view of the inside of the elbow. Several tiny incisions are made to insert the arthroscope and small surgical instruments into the joint.
- Your surgeon will fill the elbow joint with a sterile liquid to enhance the clarity of the elbow structures through the arthroscope.
- The liquid then flows through the arthroscope to maintain clarity and restrict any bleeding.
- The camera attached to the arthroscope displays the internal structures of the elbow on the monitor and helps your surgeon to evaluate the joint and direct the surgical instruments to fix the problem.
At the end of the procedure, the surgical incisions are closed by sutures, and a soft, sterile dressing is applied. Your surgeon will place a cast or splint to restrict the movement of the elbow.Dr. Brian Kelly is experienced in performing successful elbow arthroscopy procedures. If you need treatment for elbow arthritis, reach out to Dr. Brian Kelly for a customized treatment plan. With access to the best elbow surgeon near you, you are sure to find pain relief with Dr. Kelly.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I go to a sports medicine doctor for elbow pain?
You should visit an orthopaedic specialist if you have persistent elbow pain that does not go away with rest, ice, and over-the-counter medication. You should also see a doctor if your elbow pain is accompanied by swelling, bruising, or joint instability.
How do I know if I need an elbow arthroscopy?
Elbow arthroscopy is usually recommended for the following reasons:
- Debridement of loose bodies such as bone chips or torn cartilage tissue.
- Removal of scar tissue.
- Removal of bone spurs (extra bony growths caused by injury or arthritis that damage the ends of bones causing pain and limited mobility).
- Treatment of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osteochondritis dissecans, where loose fragments of cartilage and bone break into the joint space.
Dr. Kelly will help you to decide what treatment works best for you.
What does post-operative care for elbow arthroscopy require?
After an elbow arthroscopy, a compressive stocking may be applied from the armpit to the hand once the dressing is removed to decrease pain and increase range of motion. Your orthopaedic specialist will prescribe pain medications to keep you comfortable, and physical therapy will be ordered to restore normal elbow strength. Your specialist may provide post-surgical instructions such as:
- Make sure to get adequate rest.
- Raise your elbow on pillows above the level of the heart to help reduce swelling.
- Keep the incision area clean and dry.
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid smoking to promote healing.
Dr. Brian Kelly will ensure that both your surgery and recovery go smoothly. You can rest assured that your orthopaedic surgeon will be by your side throughout the entire process.
How do I get started with an orthopaedic surgeon near me?
If you are suffering from elbow pain or discomfort, reach out to an expert like Dr. Brian J. Kelly. Dr. Kelly is dedicated to helping his patients achieve long-lasting pain relief.
With experience in treating a variety of injuries and conditions of the elbow, shoulder, and knee, you will be in good hands with Dr. Brian Kelly. Contact us by phone at 412-262-7800, or visit our office at 725 Cherrington Pkwy, Suite 200, Moon Township, PA 15208.