Bones, cartilages, ligaments, muscles, tendons and fluid work together to make the elbow joint. With such a complex system, there are a number of ways to injure the area.
One common cause of elbow pain is tendonitis, which is an inflammation or injury to the tendons that attach muscle to bone. Tendinitis of the elbow is often a result of a sports injury or overuse in playing tennis or golf. Other causes of elbow pain include sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, bursitis and arthritis.
Treatment depends on the cause. A physical exam, patient history, and imaging tests will all aid in diagnosis. Sometimes arthroscopy, a procedure that inserts a camera into the joint, is used to better visualize the area.
Mild injuries may be treated with rest, ice, compression or bracing, elevation, and pain management. More complicated injuries may use arthroscopy to make some repairs. Additional minimally invasive or open surgery might also be required. In most cases, physical therapy and rehabilitation will aid in healing, strengthening and regaining motion.Previous Page Last Review Date: January 8, 2018