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Elbow Conditions

Dr. Kunal Makhija

Your elbow joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the elbow joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have elbow problems.

Many things can make your elbow hurt. A common cause is tendinitis, an inflammation or injury to the tendons that attach muscle to bone. Tendinitis of the elbow is a sports injury, often from playing tennis or golf. You may also get tendinitis from overuse of the elbow.

You may have joint inflammation for a variety of reasons, including:

  • An autoimmune disease (the body attacks itself because the immune system believes a body part is foreign)
  • General "wear and tear" on joints
  • Broken Bones
  • Infection (usually caused by bacteria)

Often the inflammation goes away after the injury has healed, the disease is treated, or the infection has been cleared. With some injuries and diseases, the inflammation does not go away or destruction results in long-term pain and deformity. When this happens, chronic arthritis can develop.

  • Persistent joint pain
  • Pain or tenderness in a joint which is aggravated by movement or activity, such as walking, getting up from a chair, writing, typing, holding an object, throwing a ball, turning a key.
  • Inflammation indicated by joint swelling, stiffness, redness, and/or warmth
  • Joint deformity
  • Loss of range of motion or flexibility in a joint
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue, lack of energy, weakness, or a feeling of malaise
  • Non-specific fever
  • Crepitus (crackling or grating feeling or sound under the skin)

The small puncture wounds take several days to heal. The operative dressing can usually be removed the morning after surgery and adhesive strips can be applied to cover the small healing incisions.