Frequently Asked Questions
At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, we strive to provide our patients the specialized orthopedic care you deserve.
Please use the links provided to access answers to frequently asked questions about orthopedics, orthopedic specialists, and common tests and treatment definitions.
What causes elbow pain?
Elbow pain stems from degenerative disease, injuries, and inflammation due to overuse. The most common causes include:
- Sports or recreational activities
- Work-related responsibilities
- Home improvement projects
What conditions are associated with elbow pain?
The team at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists treat elbow pain caused by fractures and conditions such as:
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
Tendons that attach the forearm muscle to the outside of your elbow develop small tears and inflammation due to repetitive arm movements.
Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
Similar to tennis elbow but it affects the tendons that attach your forearm to the inside of your elbow.
Cubital tunnel syndrome
The ulnar nerve travels from your neck down to your hand. As it passes around the elbow, it goes through a small space called the cubital tunnel, where it can become compressed and cause cubital tunnel syndrome.
You have elbow instability when the joint is loose, causing it to pop or slide out of place during specific arm movements. Injuries, such as elbow dislocations, usually cause instability.
Elbow ligament injuries
Three ligaments support your elbow by providing stability and allowing rotation. Trauma or overuse can injure any of these tendons.
Biceps and triceps injuries and tendonitis
Biceps and triceps injuries usually involve the tendons that attach the muscles to your shoulder bone and elbow. The most common problems are tendonitis (inflammation of one of the tendons), tendon tears, or tendon dislocations.
How is elbow pain treated?
Treatment for elbow pain always depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. Your doctor at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists creates an individualized plan that may include one or more of the following:
Depending on your diagnosis, you may need to temporarily rest your elbow or stay active while protecting it from stress. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or steroid injections may help relieve pain and inflammation. Physical therapy that incorporates structured exercise, rehabilitation, ultrasound, or massage also helps relieve elbow pain and improve function.
Surgery is often the best option for torn ligaments and tendons. Otherwise, surgery is only advisable if your symptoms don’t improve after about 6-12 months of conservative treatment.
Getting appropriate treatment for your elbow pain can help you avoid future instability. Please call the team at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists to book an appointment.