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This region of the body undergoes frequent strain and is a weak point in the arm, so it should be no surprise that elbows are prone to damage.
Many components make up a healthy, functioning elbow. The elbow is a hinge joint made up of three bones covered in cartilage: the humerus, ulna, and radius.
The elbow makes arms versatile and durable by allowing the arm to bend and straighten as well as rotate the forearm up to 180 degrees. Frequently, injuries to the arm or elbow significantly impact daily activities.
At Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, we specialize in diagnosing and treating elbow problems.
Our orthopedic specialists and elbow doctors in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia, can help determine the source of your elbow pain and provide treatment to get you feeling your best.
Common elbow conditions arise from bone complications or, more typically, the muscles and ligaments under above-average strain and contortion.
Many muscles and tendons bend at the elbow and will receive most of the force of a sports-related strain. Overuse of the joint leads to pain and inflammation.
The elbow is a generally weak point in a highly mobile and active area of the body.
While any severe or prolonged pain or abnormal elbow activity should seek medical advice, with so many potential ailments, it is essential to know some of the more common problems that arise.
Common conditions that cause elbow pain include:
Common treatment options for elbow pain begin noninvasively, and our specialized orthopedists at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow will work with you to compose an individualized treatment plan.
During your initial evaluation, we will consider your age, overall health, activity, and more when determining the best treatment plan.
Our skilled team may recommend:
Our surgeons may recommend surgery if noninvasive options fail to give you relief. This may include a total elbow arthroplasty.
Dupuytren’s contracture, also known as Dupuytren’s disease, causes a gradual and abnormal thickening and tightening of tissue under the skin. The condition causes the fingers to coil in and remain constricted towards the palm.
Although Dupuytren’s contracture is understood to be genetic and seems to be especially prominent in men with Northern European ancestry, environmental factors can exacerbate the problem.
For example, smoking tobacco products, drinking excess alcohol, or taking particular medication can initiate or hasten the process.
Before you head to a doctor, there are a few symptoms to consider.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Dupuytren’s contracture yet, but treatment options are available. Injections may help reduce pain, swelling, and contractions over time. Our specialized orthopedic surgeons may also recommend surgery.
Sports are known for causing repeated strain on elbows and several elbow-related injuries. As a result, certain sports have earned a nickname for the specific elbow injury they cause, such as a golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, or pitcher’s elbow.
Tennis elbow, known medically as lateral epicondylitis, is a type of lateral (outside) damage caused by repeated stress. Tennis elbow can cause chronic lateral pain but has a slow onset, and it is one of the most common types of elbow sports injury.
It is also common to have injuries to the elbow that are integrally related to another part of the arm or back. Bicep or tricep tendonitis is the inflammation of the muscles within the elbow. Swelling of fluid sacs around the elbow, bicep, or tricep muscles can suddenly appear from repeated sports trauma or falling.
While people associate stress injury with sports activity, repeatedly leaning on a desk (typical for students and office workers) can lead to elbow sports injury symptoms. The elbow has little muscle and fat protecting it, so it is easily susceptible to injury.
Treatment options for sports-related elbow injuries may include anti-inflammatories, rest and activity modification, physical therapy, a splint or brace, physical therapy, or steroid injections to reduce swelling and pain in the affected arm.
It is best to seek medical counsel if you are experiencing elbow pain or are concerned about sustained elbow trauma.
Given how interconnected the elbow region is to so many other body parts, including the hand, shoulder, and upper back, taking care of one part of the arm can help treat many other parts of the body before more problems arise.
Suppose you notice swelling, tingling, noises (such as cracking or popping) upon movement, or difficulty performing otherwise regular activity around your elbow.
These symptoms may be indicative of a stress-related elbow injury. However, individuals of all ages and activity levels are susceptible to elbow injuries from overuse or strain.
Getting ahead of the game is vital, especially since so many elbow ailments like sports injuries build up from sustained misuse. In addition, sports-related elbow injuries and other elbow ailments can cause permanent damage if left untreated.
Luckily, if you are experiencing elbow pain, our orthopedic specialists are ready to give an evaluation, and our team of experts is ready to help.
With over 50 years of experience and two convenient locations in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia, we work with you to create a specialized treatment plan tailored to your needs and care.
For relief from your elbow pain, contact our orthopedic experts at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow for relief from your elbow pain today to make your appointment.
We have a physician on call 24 hours a day for emergency consultation and accept appointments via phone and online.
Randall Alexander, MD