Common Causes of Elbow Pain
Elbow pain can severely limit daily activity and diminish the quality of life. The most common causes of elbow pain are:
- Tendonitis such as epicondylitis, called tennis or golfer's elbow
- Cubital tunnel syndrome - entrapment of the ulnar nerve
- Biceps rupture
- Injuries such as fractures, sprains, strains, ligament tears and dislocations
- Referred pain from the neck
Getting to the Cause of Elbow Pain
There are many possible causes of elbow pain, not all originating in the elbow. Since proper treatment depends on the root cause, see your family doctor or an orthopedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis.
Your family doctor or orthopedic specialist may use one or more of the following evaluation methods to arrive at a diagnosis:
- Physical examination
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
Typically, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments.
- Medication - typically oral anti-inflammatories
- Physical or occupational therapy - Person Memorial Hospital offers comprehensive rehabilitation services. Ask your doctor about a referral.
- Rest or activity modification if the cause is overuse
- Cortisone injections
- Surgery - the most common elbow surgeries performed at MyMichigan are
- Ulnar nerve release or transposition
- Surgical debridement of the area where the tendon is inflamed
- Fracture repair