Elbow arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and interference with the use of the arm.
Although the elbows are not weight-bearing joints, they are considered to be most important for the functioning of the upper limbs. Hence, even minor trauma or disease affecting the elbow may cause pain and limit the movements of the upper limbs. Arthritis is one of the common disease conditions affecting the elbow joint.
Elbow instability is a condition in which the elbow joint occasionally slides out of alignment due to the unstable state of the joint.
The elbow joint is made up of three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), and the radius and ulna (the forearm bones). It consists of a hinge joint that permits flexion and extension of the arm, and a ball-and-socket joint that enables rotation of the wrist. There are three bony junctions in the elbow: the proximal radioulnar joint between the radius and ulna, the ulnohumeral joint between the ulna and humerus, and the radiohumeral joint between the humerus and the radius. The bones are held in position by a number of ligaments.
Damage to any of the structures that make up the elbow joint can cause elbow pain.
The elbow is a hinge joint made up of 3 bones – the humerus, radius, and ulna. The bones are held together by ligaments to provide stability to the joint. Muscles and tendons move the bones around each other and help in performing various movements. Nerves pass through the joint.
Golfer’s elbow, also called medial epicondylitis, is a painful condition occurring from repeated muscle contractions in the forearm that leads to inflammation and microtears in the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle.
Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are similar, except that golfer’s elbow occurs on the inside of the elbow and tennis elbow occurs on the outside of the elbow. Both conditions are a type of tendonitis - inflammation of the tendons.
Osteochondritis Dissecans of Elbow
Osteochondritis dissecans is a joint condition in which a piece of cartilage, along with a thin layer of bone separates because of inadequate blood supply. The separated fragments are sometimes called “joint mice”. These fragments may be localized or may detach and fall into the joint space, causing pain and joint instability.
Elbow fractures may occur from trauma, resulting from various reasons: a fall on an outstretched arm, a direct blow to the elbow or an abnormal twist to the joint beyond its functional limit.
The symptoms of an elbow fracture may include pain, bruising, stiffness, swelling in and around the elbow, popping or cracking sound, numbness or weakness in the arm, wrist, and hand, and deformity of the elbow bones.
Elbow impingement is a medical condition characterized by compression and injury of soft tissue structures, such as cartilage, at the back of the elbow or within the elbow joint. It is a condition caused by repetitive forced extensions and overuse of the elbow. It can either occur in isolation or as valgus extension overload syndrome - also known as pitcher’s elbow - commonly noted in athletes in overhead-throwing sports like baseball, football, volleyball, and tennis. It can also result from gymnastics and aggressive weight-lifting.