Elbow Injuries 

Your elbow is one of the most important joints — essential to proper functioning, work, play, and all-around living. Of course, your elbow depends on the integrity of its ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones.

It is possible to rid yourself of pain or stiffness in your elbow — even if you have endured years of pain or suffered a traumatic injury. Whether you have a chronic condition or a recent development, Winter Orthopedic Institute’s orthopedic doctors can help restore your function and range of motion.

Many people suffer from three painful conditions that affect the elbow joint — elbow instability, arthritis, and tendonitis. Surgical procedures may be required to help relieve pain and boost function where these occur.

Reconstructive Surgery/Elbow

Instability injuries are largely seen in athletes who engage in repetitive throwing. They also affect people who have had a sudden fall. Two key ligaments act as hinges to maintain elbow stability. The lateral collateral ligament and the medial collateral ligament – and are most often involved in elbow instability injuries.

Reconstructive surgery is the usual treatment for elbow instability injuries. This surgery reconstructs the biomechanics of the joint to repair and replace the ligaments, providing stability to relieve symptoms and to help prevent arthritis over the long term. The alignment of the ligament reconstruction is critical; a number of nerves are in close proximity to these ligaments. Therefore these surgeries require a team with experience in dealing with elbow injuries.

Rehabilitation following surgery is also an important component in restoring function.

Cortisone injections 

Arthritis of the elbow can develop from repetitive trauma or severe forms of arthritis that affect the whole body, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Cortisone injections can help relieve pain and improve function. This can be achieved in combination with topical and oral anti-inflammatory medications. 

In young patients with an active lifestyle, the goal is to make sure that all possible conservative options have been used so that the device is not implanted at too young an age.

Decompression Surgery / Tendonitis

Decompression surgery can be very effective in patients who have exhausted conservative treatment for tendonitis, where chronic tearing of the muscle attachment produces pain. This surgery removes dead or inflamed tissue and reattaches them to muscles in the forearm.

The epicondyles are the bony parts of the elbow that protrude. The tendons attached to the outside (the lateral side) of the elbow are involved in tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). Muscles and tendons on the inside of the forearm leading to the elbow are involved in tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.