Elbow Pain


 

ELBOW ARTHRITIS

What is Elbow Arthritis?

While arthritis usually affects the weight-bearing hip and knee joints, in uncommon cases it can affect the elbow. Elbow arthritis can occur because of a previous injury such as an elbow dislocation or fracture. Degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis is caused when the smooth, white tissue lining the ends of each bone, called the articular cartilage, breaks down.

How do you know if you have Elbow Arthritis?

Symptoms can include elbow pain, loss of motion, inflammation, and stiffness. Some patients describe a locking sensation caused by loose pieces of cartilage or bone becoming trapped. X-ray images may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

What are the treatments for Elbow Arthritis?

Nonsurgical options historically included rest, modified activities, weight loss, medication, and physical therapy. The definitive treatment for arthritis is arthroscopic debridement or replacement surgery. Many patients are not prepared to undergo surgery and in that case there are a number of strategies to help manage pain until the patient is ready or the disease has progressed to a severe enough point that warrants surgery without delay.

The goal of treatment is to control the pain. Medication, bracing, therapy, and cortisone injections can be prescribed. Dr. Gifford offers alternatives to surgery including PRP injections, amniotic growth factor injections, and stem cell injections. Learn more about PRP

TENNIS ELBOW (LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS)

What is Lateral Epicondylitis?

Tennis elbow involves the common extensor tendon, which is the tendon that attaches to the bump on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). The common extensor tendon crosses the outside of the elbow joint and connects the forearm muscles to the lateral epicondyle.

Research shows that most causes of Lateral Epicondylitis are not from inflammation or tendonitis, but from minor tears or damage to tendons. Most tendon injuries result from gradual wear and tear. Stress can result in micro tears over time, and the damage can exceed the rate of repair. Micro-damage over time can result in degenerative tears of the tendon causing pain.

How do you know if you have Lateral Epicondylitis?

Tennis elbow typically develops over time without a specific injury. The dominant arm is most often affected. Symptoms can include pain and stiffness over the outside of the elbow. Often patients will experience a weak grip. A number of tests including musculoskeletal ultrasound or an MRI may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

What are the treatments for Lateral Epicondylitis?

Nonsurgical options historically included rest, ice, medication, and physical therapy. In the past, when traditional conservative treatments failed surgery was the only option.

Dr. Gifford now offers alternatives to surgery for chronic tendinopathy including PRP, stem cell, and percutaneous needle tenotomy (Tenex). Learn more about Tenex

GOLFER’S ELBOW (MEDIAL EPICONDYLITIS)

What is Medial Epicondylitis?

Golfer’s elbow involves the common flexor tendon that attaches to the bump on the inside of the elbow (medial epicondyle). The common flexor tendon crosses the inside of the elbow joint and connects the forearm muscles to the medial epicondyle.

Research shows that most causes of Medial Epicondylitis are not inflammation or tendonitis, but from minor tears or damage to the tendons. Most tendon injuries are a result of gradual wear and tear. Stress can result in micro tears over time, and the damage can exceed the rate of repair. Micro-damage over time can result in degenerative tears of the tendon resulting in pain.

How do you know if you have Medial Epicondylitis?

Tennis elbow typically develops over time and without a specific injury. The dominant arm is most often affected and symptoms can include pain and stiffness over the inside of the elbow. Often patients will experience weak grip strength, and symptoms worsen with forearm activity. A number of tests such as diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound or an MRI may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

What are the treatments Medial Epicondylitis?

Nonsurgical options historically included rest, ice, medication, and physical therapy. In the past when these traditional conservative treatments failed, surgery was the only option recommended to patients.

Dr. Gifford now offers alternatives to surgery for chronic tendinopathy including PRP, stem cell, and percutaneous needle tenotomy (Tenex). Learn more about Tenex

DISTAL BICEPS TENDINOPATHY (TENDINITIS) OR PARTIAL TEAR

What is Distal Biceps Tear?

The biceps tendon crosses the front of the elbow joint and bends (flexes) the elbow. Tears of the distal biceps tendon at the elbow are uncommon, and injuries are frequently sudden. The tear can be complete (full thickness) where the tendon is torn from the bone, or partial. In partial tears the tendon is not completely severed.

How do you know if you have a partial Distal Biceps Tear?

The main cause of a distal biceps tendon tear is a sudden injury, forcing the elbow straight against resistance pulling the tendon off the bone. Often there is a “pop” at the elbow when the tendon tears and subsequent swelling and bruising over the front of the elbow. Patients often have weakness and a bulge in the front of the upper part of the arm with full thickness tears. In partial tears, patients may only have pain over the front of the elbow.

What are the treatments for Medial Epicondylitis?

In most cases, tears of the distal biceps tendon are complete. Once the entire tendon is torn from the bone, the tendon will not grow back. Treatment of partial tears includes rest, ice, medication, and physical therapy. In the past, when these traditional conservative treatments failed, surgery was the only option recommended to patients.

Dr. Gifford now offers alternatives to surgery for partial biceps tendon tears, including PRP and stem cells. Learn more about PRP

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417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics
3330 South National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65807
Phone: 417-261-5669
Fax: 417-771-3256
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417-261-5669