As with the shoulders and other arm joints, elbow pain is quite common for the very reason it is so debilitating: nonstop, everyday use. Bone fractures, joint inflamations, tendon ruptures and repetitive stress injuries are all common culprits.
Causes of Elbow Pain
Elbow pain is an extremely common complaint that has many causes. Because we use our arms for so many common activities, elbow pain can cause significant problems. To ensure proper treatment, the cause of the problem must be identified.
Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, is a common source of elbow pain. Elbow injury due to repeated, forceful motion frequently causes the elbow pain often seen in tennis players and other active individuals.
A Monteggia fracture is a variant of an ulna fracture of the forearm. In addition to the fracture of the ulna, Monteggia fracture patients also have a dislocation of the radial head within the elbow joint. Treatment of a Monteggia fracture is with surgery to repair the ulna fracture.
Elbow Bursitis - Olecranon Bursitis
Olecranon bursitis is a common cause of swelling and inflammation in the elbow bursa, a fluid sac cushioning the joint. Usually treated by draining the swollen bursa, olecranon bursitis should absolutely be evaluated by a physician.
Medial epicondylitis is sometimes referred to as Golfer's Elbow, not because only golfers get the problem, but because the golf swing is an activity that commonly causes it.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the ulnar nerve where it crosses the elbow. This problem is very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, except that a different nerve is compressed, causing slightly different symptoms.
Radial Tunnel Syndrome
Radial tunnel syndrome is a condition that can cause aching in the forearm just below the elbow.
Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture
When the biceps tendon ruptures at its distal insertion, near the elbow joint, patients often complain of lack of strength. Usually this condition requires surgery for treatment.
An olecranon fracture is an injury to the prominent bone of the elbow joint. When a patient sustains a broken olecranon, surgery may be necessary to restore the alignment of the broken bones.