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Elbow Injuries

Your elbow is one of your more complex joints, it is essential for much of day to day life. Formed by the upper arm (the Humerus), the forearm (the Radius and Ulna), the elbow has an intricate system of ligaments and muscles, which connect the bones. Injuries to the elbow are very common and often related to degenerative conditions such as arthritis or sporting and play ground injuries, and are very painful.

Mr Durrant specialised in arthroscopic surgery, a procedure that reduces the likelihood of complications from surgery. He offers several arthroscopic elbow surgery options for elbow conditions such as tennis elbow, elbow arthritis, tricep and bicep tendon injuries, and ligament tears in throwers.

Arthritis of the Elbow

There are two types of arthritis that affect the elbow; Osteoarthritis (OA) caused by ageing, overuse or injury and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which is a disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common cause of arthritis in the elbow.

Ageing and overuse of the elbow can lead to the cartilage wearing away within the joint. This leads to the bones rubbing together and causing arthritic pain. With rheumatoid arthritis it is the soft tissue, including the ligaments of the elbow joint which become inflamed, causing painful, swollen, and stiff joints that become more and more degenerated over time. A previous elbow injury can also cause arthritis, as the previous injury can cause long lasting damage to the bone, cartilage, and soft tissues within the elbow.

Symptoms

The symptoms of elbow arthritis include pain either when bending or straightening the elbow, stiffness and loss of movement in the joint, swelling of the joint, and a grating or locking feeling within the elbow. Some people experience numbness or tingling in their ring and small fingers. This is due to pressure from swelling being placed on the ulna nerve that runs alongside the elbow joint.

Treatment

Non Surgical

The majority of treatment for elbow arthritis involves non-surgical treatment. Pain management includes use of anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy including application of hot and cold packs and gentle exercise, and reducing the activities and actions that causes pain. Steroid injections may be given into the joint to alleviate pain.

Surgical

Surgical treatment can involve arthroscopic removal of any damaged tissue in the joint, and occasionally Mr. Durrant may also remove a portion of bone in order relieve pressure within the joint. If the joint has deteriorated significantly, then an arthroplasty may be the only treatment option. An arthroplasty involves removing the diseased joint and replacing it with a prosthetic joint.

If you are suffering from elbow joint pain, Mr. Adam Durrant will be able to offer an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan suitable for your elbow arthritis. Whether a surgical or non-surgical treatment plan is required, Mr. Durrant will ensure you will receive the highest quality care in order to treat and manage your elbow pain and discomfort.

Please contact Mr. Adam Durrant for more information on arthritis of the elbow
or for additional resources on other elbow related injuries.

Elbow Dislocation and Instability

The elbow joint is made up of the upper arm bone, or humerus, and the two bones of the forearm, the radius and ulna. A dislocation occurs when these bones become separated. An elbow may be partially dislocated or completely dislocated.

The elbow joint acts as both a hinge joint and a ball and socket joint. The hinge joint allows the arm to bend and flex, and the ball and socket allows the elbow to rotate inwards and outwards. The strong ligaments around this joint mean that the elbow is a very stable joint. Elbow dislocations are not very common and are usually quite painful when they do occur. Dislocation is often caused by a direct blow or a severe fall. Often one of the three arm bones is also broken. If a person has experienced an elbow dislocation, they are likely to experience further elbow instability. Some people experience elbow instability because they either have loose ligaments supporting the elbow, or their ulna bone has a shallow groove for which the ball of the upper arm sits into.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a complete elbow dislocation include:

  • severe pain
  • visual deformity of the arm
  • swelling and bruising on the inside and outside of the elbow

A partial dislocation may be more difficult to identify. There will be pain and bruising, however the joint may not look dislocated in any way and movement of the joint may be relatively normal.

Treatment

Non Surgical

Treatment options for elbow dislocations depend on the severity of the injury. Immediate treatment involves management of pain and restoring the joint back into alignment. The joint is then kept supported and immobile for between one and three weeks. Physical therapy is required to ensure the elbow regains full movement.

Surgical

For severe dislocations surgery may be required in order to realign the joint as well as repair any damaged or torn ligaments. If the dislocation has affected any blood vessels or nerves, or any bones have been broken, then these complications will also need to be surgically treated. Treatment of elbow instability includes tightening up or reconstructing loose ligaments with surgery, as well as physical therapy to strengthen the joint as much as possible.

Please contact Mr. Adam Durrants office for more information on elbow dislocation and instability
or for additional resources on other elbow related injuries.

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

Lateral Epicondylitis, otherwise known as tennis elbow, is a condition that is most commonly caused by overuse of the elbow and forearm. However an injury, such as a blow to the elbow, may also cause this condition. Lateral Epicondylitis is a painful condition where the tendons, that join the muscle in the forearm to the outer elbow joint, become inflamed, damaged, or torn. Tennis elbow may be treated medically or with surgery.

Symptoms

The symptoms of tennis elbow include pain in the outside of the elbow. This pain can be experienced when extending the arm, when lifting objects with your palm down and arm outstretched, or when rotating your wrist, such as turning a door knob. The pain may radiate into the forearm and top of the hand. The strength of the wrist and hand grip may become weak, and over time the pain increases.

Treatment

Non Surgical

Treatment of tennis elbow usually involves non-surgical methods. Proper rest of the elbow, for two to four weeks, is important to allow the tendon time to repair itself. Often anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, will be prescribed. Physical therapy will involve special exercises to strengthen the forearm muscles, and ice packs can offer some relief from pain and swelling. If pain is severe and does not seem to be easing, steroid injections into the joint will provide relief of pain, however these injections only last a few months, and it is important to continue to rest the elbow.

Surgical

Surgical treatment of tennis elbow generally involves Mr. Durrant repairing the damaged muscle and tendon, and may involve reattaching the tendon to the bone. Recovery post surgery involves several months of physical therapy. The majority of patients experience excellent results from surgical treatment of tennis elbow. If you are experiencing elbow pain, Mr. Adam Durrant is able to offer an accurate diagnosis.

Please contact Mr. Adam Durrant for more information on tennis elbow
or for additional resources on other elbow related injuries.