Hi , l had a great experience with Dr.Ratnakar Rao n his team. I experienced almost painless knee replacement surgery in the year of 2019 .lt is like rebirth. I...
I visited Dr. Ratnakar Rao sir for my mother's knee replacement suggestions. He guided me and mother right way and my mother undergone for surgery of both the knees. The...
Dr. Ratnakar Rao sir is the best orthopaedic doctor in Hyderabad , he and his team members (Mr. Srikanth) provide a family environment for the patient , My mother got...
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What is Elbow Pain?
An elbow pain is a mild to severe condition of the elbow joint, causing discomfort to the patient as well as hindering performance of his normal activities.
What are the condition of Elbow that cause Elbow Pain?
Elbow pain is mainly the result of overuse due to profession or lifestyles and may also be the result of trauma. The most common causes of elbow pain are:
- One – time injuries
This is mostly caused by trauma or accidents such as:
- Dislocated elbow: Knocking off a main bone of the arm due to accidents or other trauma
- Fractured elbow: Breaking of arm bones at the elbow joint, due to sudden trauma such as a fall or accidents
- Strains and sprains: Muscle stretch causes strain whereas ligaments stress cause sprain
- Wear and Tear Injuries
This is mostly caused by overuse of the elbow owing to lifestyles, professions and hobbies such as:
- Bursitis: Swelling of the liquid filled sacs called bursae, present in an around the joint bones and muscles, causes pai
- Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow: Damage to the tendons in and around the elbow due to overuse, a condition also called tendinitis. The tennis elbow is caused in the outer part of the elbow whereas the golfer’s elbow occurs in the inside
- Trapped nerves: Squeezing of the main nerves such as the ulnar nerve and radial nerve while passing through their respective tunnels causes burning sensation or numbness in the arms and fingers
- Stress fractures: A small crack in any of the arm bones at the elbow joint due to overuse.
Several diseases can also cause of elbow pain such as:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is due to a weak immune system damaging the tissue causing joint swell
- Osteoarthritis: Caused due to cartilage breaking over time causing bone stiffness and pain
- Gout: Accumulation of Uric acid crystals in the elbow tissues
- Lupus: An illness of the immune system that may attack any part of the body
- Lyme disease: Caused by ticks, it affects the nervous system causing pain in any joint of the body
- Osteochondritis dissecans: Most common among adolescents, it occurs when a piece of the bone near the elbow dies and breaks off
How can the causes of Elbow Pain be Diagnosed?
The process of diagnosing an elbow problem begins with physical examining of the elbow and an assessment of the patient’s medical history.
The patient may then be advised to undergo one or more of the following tests:
- X-ray (radiography). This test enables to view the condition of space in the joints, bone conditions and also to detect fractures
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan. This is combined with X-Rays to form cross-sectional slices of internal structures such as the bones, cartilage, etc to have a clearer view of the damage
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The procedure uses a strong magnet linked to a computer which shows a clearer picture in black, white and grey of the soft tissues and bones in the elbow and helps in more accurate identification of the area of the damage and its likely causes
- Bone scan. In this procedure, a radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream, which later collects in those areas of the bones which are healing
This gives a proper view of the healing process and also helps to detect any other area of discomfort experienced by the patient
- Blood Tests: Samples of blood taken for the test may show presence of anti bodies, a high Erythrocyte Sediment Rate (ESR), Uric acid crystals and other bacteria
What are the treatment options to relieve from Elbow Pain?
After deducting the cause of elbow pain from the diagnostic reports, the doctor can determine the best option for treating the same, which may be as follows:
- Ice Packs: This treatment is used for early stages of pain when ice is applied for 15-20 minutes on the area of pain. It may provide temporary or permanent relief
- Stretching: Generally suggested to minimize muscle stiffness
- Wearing Elbow Pads: This prevents stress from being placed on the elbow joint due to overuse
- Oral Medications: Used for mild pains
- Surgeries: Open traditional surgery or arthroscopic elbow surgery is performed based on the urgency of the bone condition
Dr. RATNAKAR RAO
MBBS & M.S (Orthopedics) AMC AR Fellowship – NUHS, Singapore.
Orthopedic & Joint Replacement Surgeon
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