The elbow joint is essential for bending or straightening the arm to 180 degrees and lifting or moving objects. The elbow is a complex joint formed by the articulation of three bones – the humerus, radius, and ulna – which are lined by articular cartilage. Articular cartilage is a thin, tough, flexible, and slippery surface that acts as a shock absorber and cushion to reduce friction between the bones. The bones of the elbow are supported by ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels.
When any of the structures that support the elbow joint are injured, it can cause elbow injury symptoms like pain, swelling, bruising, and loss of function. Elbow injuries can be caused by falls, direct blows to the elbow, overuse, or degenerative changes. Common soft tissue injuries around the elbow include tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, elbow sprains, and distal biceps tendon tears.
The elbow joint is essential to your arm movement, so it is important to seek treatment if you have sustained an injury. Dr. Brian Kelly, an acclaimed orthopaedic surgeon, is experienced in treating soft tissue injuries of the elbow and providing long-lasting pain relief for a variety of injuries.
When you visit the office of Brian J. Kelly MD, you will be welcomed by Dr. Kelly and his team of talented surgeons with a great reputation for providing the most skilled and compassionate care for their patients. If you are ready to recover from your injuries with the help of experts, schedule an appointment today with Brian J. Kelly MD.
Tennis elbow is a common name for the elbow condition lateral epicondylitis. It is an overuse injury that causes inflammation and microtears of the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle. Tennis elbow is a painful condition occurring from repeated muscle contractions at the forearm. The condition is more common in sports activities such as tennis, painting, hammering, typing, gardening, and playing musical instruments. The signs and symptoms of tennis elbow can include:
Golfer’s elbow, also called medial epicondylitis, is a painful condition occurring from repeated muscle contractions in the forearm that leads to inflammation and microtears in the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle. Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are similar, except that golfer’s elbow occurs on the inside of the elbow and tennis elbow occurs on the outside of the elbow. Both conditions are a type of tendonitis, which refers to the inflammation of the tendons. The signs and symptoms of golfer’s elbow can include:
An elbow sprain is an elbow ligament injury, causing damage to the soft tissues of the elbow. It is caused due to stretching or tearing (partial or full) of the ligaments that support the elbow joint. Elbow sprains are graded depending on the severity of the symptoms as I (mild), II (moderate), and III (severe). Severe elbow sprains can lead to elbow dislocation or joint instability. Sprained elbow symptoms can include:
The biceps tendon that attaches the muscle at the elbow is known as the distal biceps tendon. A biceps tear can be complete or partial. Partial biceps tendon tears will not completely break the tendon while complete tendon tears will break the tendon into two parts. Tears of the distal biceps tendon are usually complete and the muscle is separated from the bone. Tears of the distal biceps tendon most often result from a sudden injury or lifting a heavy object.
The most common symptom of a biceps tendon tear is sudden, severe pain at the elbow. At times, you may hear a pop. Other symptoms may include swelling, visible bruising, weakness in the elbow, and trouble twisting the forearm.
Treatment for soft tissue injuries to the elbow will vary depending on the severity of the injury. Treatment may include rest, ice, heat, physical therapy, and splinting or bracing. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the injured tendon or ligament. The surgical options will also depend on the type of injury you have sustained. Your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend procedures such as:
If you think you have suffered a soft tissue injury to your elbow, it is important to see your orthopaedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Untreated injuries can lead to chronic pain and loss of function, so early intervention is the best course of action.
Dr. Brian Kelly can help you determine the best route of treatment, as well as perform surgical procedures if necessary. Reach out to Brian J. Kelly MD for long-lasting pain relief from elbow injuries.
Before moving on to surgery, your orthopaedic physician will recommend conservative treatment options to treat the tennis elbow symptoms. These may include:
Dr. Brian Kelly and his team members will make sure you are comfortable and have tried every option before deciding to proceed with surgical options.
The typical indications for distal biceps repair include:
Brian J. Kelly MD can help you determine if surgery is the necessary choice for your treatment.
After golfer’s elbow surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend post-operative measures such as:
Even though your surgery has been completed, you will still receive care and support from your orthopaedic specialist. With consistent communication, recommendations, and check-up appointments, you will have someone by your side throughout your recovery.
If you have sustained an elbow injury, don’t hesitate to seek treatment. Dr. Brian Kelly is ready to assist you with any problem you are facing. You can receive compassionate care from experienced orthopaedic specialists and rest assured that you will enjoy a successful recovery.
If you are ready to get back into the swing of things, schedule an appointment with a specialist at Dr. Kelly’s office today. You can contact us by phone at 412-262-7800, or visit our office at 725 Cherrington Pkwy, Suite 200, Moon Township, PA 15208.
Get back into the swing of things with Pittsburgh’s orthopaedic surgeons.