Information for Patients
Elbow Injuries and Disorders
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.
Other causes of elbow pain include sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, bursitis and arthritis. Treatment depends on the cause.
A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder. Joints can be damaged by many types of injuries or diseases, including
- Arthritis - inflammation of a joint. It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling. Over time, the joint can become severely damaged.
- Bursitis - inflammation of a fluid-filled sac that cushions the joint
- Dislocations - injuries that force the ends of the bones out of position
Treatment of joint problems depends on the cause. If you have a sports injury, treatment often begins with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Other possible treatments include pain relievers, keeping the injured area from moving, rehabilitation, and sometimes surgery. For arthritis, injuries, or other diseases, you may need joint replacement surgery to remove the damaged joint and put in a new one.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases